At home up high

As appealing as ever. More and more people are drawn to the city. Cyrus Moser Architects concern themselves with how to meet the varied demands of city living. Their project “One Forty West” reaches for the sky.

Hamburg - In Ruhe mit sich und den Wolken

Mr Moser, cities are a much desired living environment. What does the high demand for city life mean for architecture? 

The space requirements per person are increasing, but at the same time more and more people are living on their own. This is continuously driving up the demand for living space. Due to space limitations, the topic of “residential density” in a city like Frankfurt must be viewed in combination with “well designed open spaces”.

What challenges arise for Frankfurt in this regard?

Especially in the city centre, we as planners are called on to provide designs that cater for both high residential density and sufficient open spaces in order to maintain the authenticity of the city: the “Äppelwoi-Stubb”, the “Trinkhalle” next to the opera house, the trendy clubs and the elegant hotels all need each other. At cma, we have concerned ourselves with the topic of diversity for over 17 years and are doing our best to uphold the character of Frankfurt - we design everything from single-family homes to apartment blocks and residential skyscrapers.

Frankfurt’s skyline is growing. What makes your “One Forty West” design so special? 

In line with the aforementioned principle of living space diversity, the OFW is a special product that was developed in its entirety with a certain target group in mind. It is an exclusive hybrid skyscraper that combines hotel and residential living. The residential floors start at a height of 84 metres and continue up to 140 metres. What is particularly striking is the uniquely profiled tower top, which starts on the interconnecting 15th floor. The balconies stretch around the tower in an upwards spiral with a length of 3,000 metres. OFW is a building that polarises. But then again, it was never built to be consensual architecture. A little willfulness is necessary for the sake of authenticity, as this is also how Frankfurters are sometimes perceived by outsiders. As the highest building in the Senckenberg Quarter, the OWF occupies a special place. It was thus designed to blend in with a quarter that opens up to adjoining districts along its fringes. We take pride in our concept. The city only works as a whole, not as an autistic extract.

What is the special appeal of living in a skyscraper?

In short: the views of the city’s skyline and the Taunus mountains. These unobstructed views in combination with the feeling of open space conveys a pleasant contrast to the increasingly limited space in the city. From up here you can watch the hustle and bustle of the city down below. You are right in the heart of the action, yet in peace and quiet up in the clouds.

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