Franz Joseph Ruf - Germany
BHF-Bank High-Rise Building
Bockenheimer Landstrasse 10, Frankfurt
1962 - 1965

The Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft, short BHG, was a bank from Berlin founded in 1856, which had to stop its activities after the Second World War. In 1948 the company moved its headquarters to Frankfurt, merging with the Frankfurter Bank in 1970, resulting in the new Berliner Handels- und Frankfurter Bank, short BHF Bank. As a consequence of the merger, there was an increased demand for office space. The BHF-Bank Tower, located in the Frankfurt city district Westend, was built from 1962 to 1965 according to a design by Franz Joseph Ruf. Only five years later, the BHF-Bank moved into the building. It is sited in the so-called Rothschildpark whose building development had been virtually destroyed during World War II. At the time of its inauguration, the 23-storey tower was the tallest building in the city of Frankfurt with a height of 82 meters. The main building in the south of the site has a square plan measuring 25 by 25 meters and was realized as a reinforced concrete frame construction. In the northwest a long drawn-rectangular building wing is attached to the tower. Another two-story annex, rising above a square ground plan marks the termination to the northeast. Typical for its time the building lacks any decoration. Horizontally the building is structured by the change of circumferential bands of windows and parapet fields. A vertical steel rod construction surrounds the building in regular intervals. The upper end of the building is accentuated by an offset of the glass facade, while the steel rod construction continues vertical in the same position. This results in an appearance detached from the static impression. The roof edge features a lettering with company logo. The mentioned parapets originally consisted of white, Yugoslav Carrara marble. However, this was replaced by a plastic panel during a renovation. In the 1990s there were plans to replace the building by a substantially larger construction, due to the increased space requirements. However, the city of Frankfurt did not approve the submitted project, and the high-rise building by Sep Ruf became a listed building. As a consequence, the private bank realized an extension in Offenbach am Main, to solve the problem of office space.