ma|ro is our first building in Frankfurt. I wanted to design a strong and rugged house for this city. The engine of the centre is humming along busily, slickly and matt. The rough upheaval, the questions and the quest for the new and other seem too far back. So I believe that the metropolis on the river Main will happily accept such a rugged, rough and bulky building.
Together with two buildings on Neue Mainzer Straße, the seven-storey ma|ro makes for a changed entrance to Neue Rothofstraße and is a top address for offices in the best of locations and high-quality retail trade.
The sales and restaurant areas of about 3,800 square metres offer first-class space for 12 shops and catering facilities with large shop-window fronts spanning two storeys and a ceiling height of up to five metres. The building was completed in November 2016. At the moment, there are still finishing works of the commercial tenants being conducted on the ground and first floors.
The office tenants have moved into flexibly subdivided areas of a total 8,600 square metres.
The two properties represented a great challenge for us architects from the outset because of their demanding layout.
The design utilises the complicated geometry of the properties and their varied connecting heights with the neighbours for the two buildings, whose design elements are reminiscent of hastily piled boxes. Hurriedly stored, provisionally piled, sometimes with a gap, other times protruding and retracting, seemingly without rhyme and reason. Thus, the boxes are piled up to a height of 32 metres.
I love these succinct geometries, this casualness of the design. This also represents a formally coherent solution for opening up the narrow Neue Rothofstraße on the corners of the ground and first floor levels as well as the staggering of the upper floors. Projecting frames of the entire floor height in the regular floors create a plastic design of the two building structures and a better visibility in the also narrow Neue Mainzer Straße.
The projections and retractions on the corners of the two gateway buildings are finely coordinated with one another and underline their references aligned to one another. Especially the upper projection of Neue Mainzer Straße 80 is able to pull the buildings back from an all too predictable retracting staggering. I like this obstinate plasticity.
Both the two-storey main entrances are located on Neue Mainzer Straße and on Neue Rothofstraße in the middle of the buildings correspondingly. Two luminous ceilings provide unique lobbies respectively: a plastically shaped prism ceiling made from mirror-polished aluminium fitted with LED light strips for Neue Mainzer Straße 74 and for Neue Mainzer Straße 80 an OLED ceiling, which splashes like a wave from the two-storey entrance area to the lift portals.
A cantilevered glass roof covering the first floor separates the shop windows of the retail spaces from the office floors above them and offers protection against the elements for the shop-window stroller.
A three-storey underground garage offers space for 43 automobiles.
In the immediate neighbourhood of the high-rise buildings, a seven-storey building is dwarfed. Even though ma|ro is actually two buildings. We wanted to create a generous building that announces its presence in the cityscape; and that adds quality to the quarter even in the neighbourhood of giants.