Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Henning Larsen

MOW Architects
Adickesallee 32-34, Frankfurt, Germany | View Map
Project Year
Stories By
Henning Larsen

Hufton + Crow
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct link
FacadeMosaTerra Maestricht, Terra Tones
FlooringForbo Flooring Systems
ManufacturersKingspan Insulated Panels

Product Spec Sheet
by Marset
by Osram

Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Henning Larsen as Architects

The new campus of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management opens tomorrow. The campus, designed by Danish architectural practice Henning Larsen, is closely linked to the city and sets new standards for transparent and open learning in the world of business and finance

The new campus of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management opening on October 26th establishes a strong connection to the city of Frankfurt. The 37.290 m2 business school is created as an open and transparent community centered around a public inner space, the Street of Knowledge, acknowledging one of Frankfurt’s oldest commercial streets The Zeil. The school is designed as a small city within the larger urban setting.

The Street of Knowledge establishes a space where students, teachers and visitors from the city’s business community can meet and interact. From the large south facing terraces on the 3rd floor one can enjoy spectacular views over the city. In this way, the new school opens up towards Frankfurt, one of the largest financial centers of Europe while giving the city an innovative strategy for reinventing learning in the world of business and finance.

New Ways of Learning
A rich variation of spaces within the school reinvents the traditional hierarchical structure of learning. A mix of 61 spaces for teamwork and informal encounters, 38 seminar rooms, 11 intimate lecture rooms, shaped like amphitheaters, and 1 auditorium space highlights the ambition to encourage learning outside the classrooms.

"I am deeply convinced that personal encounters between people are of great value for an economic university like the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. That is why our new campus is centered around communication and openness. It is a place for ambitious learning, research and consulting, which acts like a magnet and will give us a great boost on our way to becoming one of the best business schools in Europe," says Professor Dr. Udo Steffens, President of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

Henning Larsen continuously carries out research within the educational field and knows that a substantial part of learning takes place through the knowledge passed on between students in informal social interaction where dialogue takes center stage. The new building of Frankfurt School is designed to create a new diversity with the possibility for students and teachers to alternate between different learning situations.

“We sought to create a school that deliberately blurs the boundaries between formal and informal learning, and between business and education. I’m very pleased with the way the central inner street has become a spectacular open space where people will meet and engage with a sense of community,” says Partner and Design Principal at Henning Larsen, Louis Becker.

Daylight Improves Focus and Performance
Henning Larsen is continuously engaged in creating higher learning facilities around the world, all with a strong focus on the interaction between people and the use of natural daylight. In a report from 2013 World Green Building Council states that students achieve 5-14 % higher test scores and learn 20-26 % faster when placed in rooms lit by natural daylight.

At Frankfurt School of Finance & Management a spectacular skylight and the offset location of the five towers create an optimal flow of natural daylight inside the building.

“As architects we know that light is one of the most important factors for learning. It helps improving our focus and performance. My hope and ambition is that the varied daylight-filled spaces we have created for Frankfurt School of Finance & Management will contribute to the important task of educating students that will excel within their field and give something back to the city of Frankfurt,” says Partner and Design Principal at Henning Larsen, Louis Becker.


Mosa as Facade

In its search for a new location and building, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management successfully created a bridge between a traditional building and a dynamic look into the future. The close cooperation between client, architect, and the team at Mosa led to a unique solution.


Complex task for architects

The Frankfurt School of Finance & Management features a long tradition: Having started out as the ‘Bankakademie’ (Banking Academy) seventy years ago, the Business School is now one of the most renowned universities for Banking, Finance, and Management in Germany. The Business School has been steadily growing over recent years, and the campus was becoming too small for the dynamic development. The new location was found on Adickesallee, a central location in the northern part of Frankfurt which formerly housed the Oberfinanzdirektion, the main regional financial government body. This old building featured a facade made of split tiles in different shades of red. The colours seemed to change depending on the light and the angle. At the end of 2014, this building was torn down. In an architectural competition, Henning Larsen architects from Copenhagen convinced by finding the proper link between old and new – and making the School ready for teaching and learning in the 21st century.


Calling card: the facade


The central element in combining the old building with the new one is the facade: ‘The facade is our calling card; it has a significant influence on the whole building. Our aim was to make it something very special – not too dark, not boring, but also being able to integrate into the surrounding and prolong the history of the building’, says Professor Dr Nils Stieglitz, the President of the school. Klaus Ringsleben, Building Director of the school, was highly involved in finding an appropriate solution. He contacted facade suppliers and material manufacturers during a trade fair in Munich. His task was to find the right supplier and the right material – and to focus on sustainability at the same time. ‘We’re aiming for Platinum certification for our campus, the highest possible level.’ For Ringsleben, the challenge was one of aesthetics, technical aspects, and financial considerations. During the fair in Munich, he also came across Mosa and began an intensive dialogue with the company. ‘What really convinced me about Mosa was the company’s history, its organic development, the wide range it offers, and its drive to achieve an architecturally-appealing solution,’ says Ringsleben.


Close cooperation for a common goal


The ideal solution for the Frankfurt School was achieved only thanks to the very close and efficient cooperation between everyone involved. The colour was a key factor in the design process. In consultation with Mosa, a unique tile colour was developed to echo the traditional red colours of the original building. Following several rounds of development and intensive dialogue between the architects, the team at the Frankfurt School, and Mosa, the result was the ‘Solids’ tile in terra tones with a size of 90 by 90 centimetres. Finally, three different shades of red tiles were chosen.


Such close cooperation between architect, client, and manufacturer is not a standard procedure. In the beginning, there was no manufacturer who could supply the tiles directly from their existing portfolio. Mosa took on the challenge and developed something entirely new.


Key factor: Sustainability


Lastly, besides design and the appropriate technology, the Frankfurt School always retained a strong focus on sustainability. The school relied on a certification consultant to gain its Platinum certification. With its Cradle to Cradle Silver certification, Mosa was able to rely on existing processes to fulfil all requirements. The standard procedures were used for the custom-made tiles, so the team at Mosa could fully concentrate on the design process and didn’t have to worry about different standards for raw materials or production processes. With this approach, Mosa was able to make a positive contribution to the Frankfurt School’s efforts in this area.


Nils Stieglitz is completely satisfied with the result of this project. ‘This new building is exactly what we hoped for: built on the foundations of our history and looking into a dynamic future. What more could I have hoped for?’


If you want to learn more about how the Frankfurt School created this unique result, please read the full story in Notes Magazine.

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