A Frankfurt tower offers residents views framed by greenery

In Frankfurt, Germany, the 27-story EDEN Tower features an exterior “living wall system”: 186,000 plants that cover approximately 20% of the building’s facade. Chicago-based architecture firm JAHN, which spearheaded the facade concept, collaborated with local design firm Magnus Kaminiarz & Co. on the EDEN Tower.

The green wall contrasts with the white balconies of the residential tower and can be seen from inside the units. “JAHN developed the vertical green features to be visible from inside apartments, framing city views with greenery,” said Steven Cook, JAHN’s executive vice president, in a statement. “It creates a sense of well-being within the living units, instilling a sense of being connected to nature, despite being 75 meters above the ground.”

The green wall contrasts with the white balconies of the residential tower and can be seen from inside the units. Courtesy of JAHN.

The advantages of the green element

This green element will prove particularly beneficial as more people work from home, Cook noted. “Adding planted areas to building facades that can be experienced from inside the apartment gives residents who might now spend much of their time at home a sense of being connected to the living world,” did he declare.

One of the biggest challenges, according to Cook, was securing the plants to the steel substructure of the vertical walls. The team achieved this by using an extremely strong, lightweight and non-combustible fabric originally developed by NASA. The plants were placed in linear bags made from this special fabric, then the bags were bolted to the steel substructure.

Non-combustibility was also a concern when selecting plant types. Some ivy species could not be used because they contain highly flammable natural compounds. The plant selection included a large percentage of conifers, so the green wall will not lose all of its leaves or turn brown during the winter.

The construction of the EDEN tower began in 2019 and should be completed this summer.

Owner-developer: gsp Städtebau GmbH (Frankfurt)

Design architect: JAHN (Chicago USA) and Magnus Kaminiarz & Cie (Frankfurt)

Official architect: Jaspers-Eyers Architects (Brussels, Belgium)

MEP engineer: ventury GmbH Energieanlagen (Germany)

Structural engineer: EHS (Germany)

General contractor/project manager: IMMOBEL (Belgium)

Facade company: Aluprof SA (Europe)

Eden int
This green element will prove particularly beneficial as more and more people work from home. Courtesy of JAHN
Courtesy of JAHN
Courtesy of JAHN

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