Frankfurt, Germany


In recent years, Christoph Ingenhoven, who began his practice in 1985 in Dusseldorf, has emerged as a formidable player in the architectural market owing to an approach that emphasizes technology and sustainability. Ingenhoven’s major recent work in Germany, the new Lufthansa Aviation Center, is strategically located right next to Frankfurt airport––therefore subject to considerable constraints in terms of air pollution and noise emissions.

Lufthansa Aviation Center
Photography © H.G. Esch, Hennef

The site is squeezed in between one of the most heavily used German autobahns, the ICE high-speed railroad line from Frankfurt to Cologne, with the airfield to the south. Ingenhoven’s competition-winning scheme for Lufthansa is a powerful modern structure, subdivided into ten wings, and separated by fully glazed gardens that function as thermal buffer zones and provide fresh air to the office areas for Lufthansa’s 1850 employees. The overall envelope of double and triple-layered glass, plus various climatic tools, such as the use of embedded hydronic loop systems to activate the thermal mass of the exposed concrete surfaces in storing and dispersing heat or cold at a later time along with additional heat recovery methods, highly efficient sun-shading, and air-ventilation systems are impressive. All keep the thermal loss and energy consumption to a mere 355 kilowatt hours per square foot, at such a low level that the building comes close to complying with the German standard for low-energy houses. These astonishing results are the product of close collaboration with climate engineer Klaus Daniels, founder of the pioneering climate consultancy HL-Technik. Ingenhoven also joined forces with structural engineer Werner Sobek to define the shapes for both the glazed and concrete roof modules. The glazed atria roofs boast a free 60-foot-span and consist of barrel-shaped grid shells of non-bending, welded rectangular steel sections. They connect to the likewise barrel-shaped concrete roofs covering the office spaces, which while shell-like in appearance, are basically bent flat 11-inch-thick slabs that rest on single high-performance concrete columns or cores. At the junction of the two roof systems, Ingenhoven introduced a special wing-shaped spoiler, based on aerodynamic experiments. The spoiler creates a permanently neutral wind pressure zone above it, which helps suck exhaust air out of the atrium.

Today, the airport is already operating at full capacity and plans are afoot to build a third runway north of the highway that will enlarge the capacity of the airport from 53 million to 75 million passengers a year.


Ingenhoven Architects
Plange Mühle 1, D-40221 Düsseldorf
Postfach 190046, D-40110 Düsseldorf
Tel +49 [0]211 30101 01, Fax +49 [0]211 30101 31

Team Architects - Construction
Christoph Ingenhoven
Klaus Frankenheim, Thomas Höxtermann, Götz-Peter Kaiser, Prof. Dieter Henze, Christel Bauscher, Rainer Binnig, Marc Böhnke, Tina Brinkmeier, Lutz Büsing, André Burkhard, Ortwin Burkheiser, Meike Dreger, Denis Donat, Uwe Eiffert, Marco Glashagen, Roman Gohlke, Holger Gravius, Xiao Ping Guo, Imre Halmai, Martin Herbrand, Dirk Hümpfner, Manfred Junghans, Marcus Kraemer, Andreas Kramer, Christiane Luiz, Anja Merz, Kirsten Opitz, Peter-Jan van Ouwerkerk, Jan Quadbeck, Udo Rex, Stefan Rhein, Manuel Ruf, Ulla Schoemakers, Hendrik Schumacher, Robert Schwalm, Andrea Timmermanns, Peter Jan Vanek,Herbert Voss, Regina Wuff,

Team Architekten - Competition
Christoph Ingenhoven
Ralf Dorsch-Rüter, Thomas Höxtermann, Klaus J. Osterburg, Michael Reiß, Hinrich Schumacher, Xiao Ping Guo, Peter Pistorius, Maximo Victoria, Harald Wennemar, Regina Wuff

Interior designer:
Ingenhoven Architects, Düsseldorf

Engineer(s) and Consultant(s):
Landscape Architecture:
WKM Weber Klein Maas Landschaftsarchitekten, Meerbusch

Project Management:
Arcadis Homola GmbH & Co., Frankfurt

Structural Engineering:
Werner Sobek Ingenieure GmbH, Stuttgart

Building Services:
HL-Technik AG Beratende Ingenieure, München 
Brendel Ingenieure GmbH, Frankfurt 
Ebert-Ingenieure, Frankfurt

Energy Strategy- Consulting for the Client:
Baumgartner & Partner AG, Dübendorf (CH)

Facade Planning:
DS-Plan GmbH, Stuttgart

Building Physics:
DS-Plan GmbH, Stuttgart
Institut für Bauphysik Horst Grün GmbH, Mülheim a.d. Ruhr

Industrial Aerodynamics:
IFI Institut für Industrieaerodynamik GmbH, Aachen

Radar Investigation:
EADS Deutschland GmbH, Bremen

Lighting Artificial- and Daylight:
Tropp Lighting Design, Weilheim

Organizational Planning:
Quickborner Team, Hamburg

Kitchen Planning:
Niedermeyer & Partner, Bad Vilbel

Transportation Systems:
Jappsen & Stangier GmbH, Oberwesel

Traffic Engineering:
Durth Roos Consulting GmbH, Darmstadt

Flughafen Frankfurt Main AG, Frankfurt

Vertical Access Planning:
Thomas A. Weisse & Partner, Hamburg

Soils Investigation:
Ingenieursozietät Prof. Dr.-Ing. Katzenbach, Darmstadt

Fire Protection:
BGS Ingenieursozietät, Bonn
BPK Brandschutz Planung Klingsch GmbH, Düsseldorf
Pabst und Partner, Bonn

Security Planning:
K.F. Rotzler GmbH & Partner, Wiesbaden

Facility Management:
Schuster Unternehmensberatung, Bad Homburg

Art concept:
Max Hollein, Schaffhausen / Galerie Michael Neff, Frankfurt

H.G. Esch, Hennef
Tel +49 (0) 2248 44 55 07

Holger Knauf, Düsseldorf
Tel +49 (0) 211 775502

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Bentley MicroStation




Josef Gartner GmbH
Gartnerstraße 20, 89423
Gundelfingen, Germany

Metal ceiling lining
Schmid GmbH
Alte Salzstrasse 9, 88171
Simmerberg / Allgäu, Germany

Vitra GmbH
Charles-Eames-Strasse 2, 79576
Weil am Rhein, Germany

ERCO Leuchten GmbH
Postfach 24 60, 58505
Lüdenscheid, Germany

Room-specific control and operating unit:
Gira Giersiepen GmbH & Co. KG,
Dahlienstraße, 42477
Radevormwald, Germany

Pfeiffer & Söhne GmbH
Emmeliusstraße 21, 35614
Asslar, Germany

FSB, Franz Schneider Brakel GmbH + Co KG
Nieheimer Straße 38, 33034
Brakel, Brakel