Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
2011 Best Tall Building Europe
KfW Westarkade

KfW Westarkade, Frankfurt, Germany
Completion Date: May 2010
Height: 56 m (184 ft)
Stories: 14
Gross Floor Area: 18,116 m² (195,000 ft²)
Use: Office
Owner: KfW Bankengruppe
Design Architect: Sauerbruch Hutton
Architectural Coordination: Architekten Theiss Planungsgesellschaft mbH
Structural Engineer: Werner Sobek GmbH
Energy Concept: Transsolar
MEP Engineer: Reuter Rührgartner GmbH; Zibell, Willner & Partner


Already being touted as one of the most energy-efficient office buildings in the world, KfW Westarkade is projected to use approximately half the energy of an average European office building, and one-third of a US-based one. The building addresses the prevailing wind direction to exploit it for controlled natural ventilation of the offices by means of its double-layered façade, which allows for the building to be naturally ventilated eight months out of the year.

The streamlined form integrates itself into its surrounding context, while simultaneously standing out through the playful use of color. Whereas many buildings use color as a way to mask an otherwise unremarkable building, here it contributes an additional rich layer to what is already a remarkable building.”  –  Peter Murray, Awards Juror, Wordsearch