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31.07.2014 Messe Frankfurt wins two prizes at the German Design Council’s Iconic Awards 2014

North Gate and Kap Europa’s concrete curtain singled out for awards

Messe Frankfurt’s North Gate, which was redesigned in 2013, and the concrete curtain in the Kap Europa congress centre, which was opened in May of this year, have both been singled out as winners by the German Design Council in its Iconic Awards this year. The North Gate came out top in the Architecture (Corporate) category, while the concrete curtain in the Kap Europa took first place in the Product (Energy Solutions) category.

Olaf Kühl, Vice President of Facility Management at Messe Frankfurt: “We are delighted to receive these awards since they prove that innovative and creative planning ideas enrich urban building culture, particularly in the case of functional buildings.”

With its Iconic Awards, the German Design Council focuses on outstanding, holistic architecture and interior design. As an international competition that pays tribute to the interaction of various disciplines, the Iconic Awards offers a forum to the entire world of architecture. The participants are judged in a number of different categories – Architecture, Interior, Product, Communication and Concept – and in the special categories Architects of the Year, Interior Designers of the Year and Project of the Year.

Following its successful debut last year, the German Design Council presented the Iconic Awards for the second time in 2014.

The Iconic Awards 2014 will be presented on 6 October at the Expo Real trade fair at BMW Welt in Munich. At the ceremony, the award for the “Best of Best” of the individual competition categories will be presented together with special prizes and the honorary award.

Information on the redesign of the North Gate:

The North Gate is Messe Frankfurt’s main entrance and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The entrance is used by up to 1,700 vehicles every day at peak times, and by an average of some 300,000 vehicles entering the Frankfurt exhibition grounds each year. The North Gate is in a prominent location on a road bridge near the Emser Brücke bridge, above Theodor-Heuss-Allee, the main access road from the Frankfurter Westkreuz interchange to the city centre.

Based on a design by Berlin-based architect Ingo Schrader, the new landmark can be seen well beyond the company’s exhibition grounds. The project was completed in three months, cost around €1.2 million and replaces the previous provisional structure with a new guard house.

The large oval roof, which measures some 600 square metres and is lit up at night, defines the appearance of the new gate. The oval contains the various functions for access control, such as fixed and mobile barriers and the new guard house. It measures 42 x 18 metres and allows its supporting members to be positioned freely, as they are not part of a fixed grid.

Information on the design of Kap Europa’s concrete curtain:

The Kap Europa congress centre is Messe Frankfurt’s new location in Frankfurt’s Europaviertel district, right next to the exhibition grounds and the Skyline Plaza shopping centre.

This new structure was designed to comply with the strictest sustainability standards in both construction and operation. Back in the construction phase, Kap Europa’s high ecological standards already earned it a preliminary certification from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). Following its completion, it was the first event building in the world to receive the gold certificate from the DGNB. In this way, Messe Frankfurt’s congress building raises the bar for ecological and socially responsible construction.

An important factor for the certification of the Kap Europa building was that its energy requirements are as much as 27 percent lower than those set out in the German Energy Conservation Regulation (EnEV) from 2009.

One design element that is instrumental in saving energy is the “inner cube”, which surrounds the event halls on four levels. The concrete core within the building is used as a thermal mass (assisting climate control by cooling the building at night).

The “concrete curtain” proved to be the perfect solution for integrating the concrete core within the building design. It symbolises the event venue in that the entrances to the conference rooms are virtually in the curtain itself – people enter the rooms through the curtain.

The smooth exposed concrete façade is 110 mm thick and grey in colour, partially with a 40 mm thick structure in the shape of a curtain. Owing to its exceptional shape, the “concrete curtain” contributes to the unique design of the building.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around €545 million in sales and employing some 2,000 people worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and around 50 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 150 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2013, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 113 trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.
Comprising an area of 578,000 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres.
The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.

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