On Tuesday 4 September 2007, Tishman Speyer marked the occasion of laying the foundation stone for Frankfurt's OpernTurm. On completion at the end of 2009, the 42-story tower will rise up to a height of 168 meters on Bockenheimer Landstrasse, opposite the Alte Oper. OpernTurm will provide 60,000 m² of office space, of which 31,000 m² has already been leased to UBS Deutschland AG as their new German headquarters.
The symbolic ceremony was attended by Petra Roth, Mayor of the City of Frankfurt, Jerry I. Speyer, Chairman and CEO of Tishman Speyer, Jürg Zeltner, Chairman of the Board of UBS Deutschland AG, the tower's main tenant in the future, Bernd Knobloch, Chairman of the Board of Eurohypo AG, the bank financing the project, and OpernTurm architect Prof. Christoph Mäckler.
The laying of the foundation stone sets the course for the completion of the tower by the end of 2009. In her speech, Mayor Petra Roth spoke of a unique opportunity that the development of OpernTurm represented for a location of such historic and urban significance. "For Frankfurt, the OpernTurm epitomizes the bond between the world of finance, economic dynamism, and lifestyle, impressively reflecting the character of this city." Jerry I. Speyer said in his speech that the OpernTurm would do justice to the claim it made: "Buildings are an expression of creativity, ingenuity, innovation, and ambition. We are proud to be able to develop such a project here."
All speakers contributed a personal memento to be included in the time capsule to highlight the importance of the project for all parties involved. Mayor Petra Roth brought with her historical photographs of the OpernTurm site, while Jerry I. Speyer continued the tradition of handing over a collection of daily newspapers to be encased in the stainless steel tube. Representing UBS Deutschland AG, Board Chairman Jürg Zeltner completed the collection by adding a UBS image brochure. Eurohypo's CEO Bernd Knobloch put a Rothschild thaler dating back to 1862 into the capsule, referring to the adjacent park which will have grown by 5,500 m² on the completion of OpernTurm. Finally, Prof. Christoph Mäckler handed over several autographed sketches of the buildings to be enclosed in the capsule. All project partners brought the foundation ceremony to its conclusion with the symbolic hammer blow.
Beside the 42-story skyscraper there will be a low-rise building whose height and choice of material is reminiscent of the original development along Opernplatz in the 19th century. Both components of OpernTurm will have natural stone facades that harmonize with the surrounding buildings, rounding off the overall design of the square. For the residents of Frankfurt, the development of OpernTurm enables the extension of Rothschildpark, one of the city's most popular green spaces, by 5,500 m². After the completion of the new skyscraper, the park will be accessible from Bockenheimer Landstrasse and through the Rothschild Gate in Bockenheimer Anlage.
Source: Activ Consult