On the afternoon of Wednesday, June 24, 2015, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management held a ceremony to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone for the business school’s new campus in Frankfurt’s Adickesallee (Adickes Avenue). The ceremony marked the formal start of the campus construction project, which is due for completion in 2017. The new campus was designed by Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects.
Professor Dr Udo Steffens, President of Frankfurt School, welcomed the numerous guests attending the ceremony. The audience included members of the Frankfurt School Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Frankfurt School Friends and supporters, local politicians, representatives of companies involved in the construction project, and Frankfurt School alumni and staff. In his welcome address, Professor Steffens explained that in addition to reflecting the business school’s growing success and ongoing growth, the new Adickesallee campus also represents Frankfurt School’s commitment to the City of Frankfurt, which has been enormously supportive throughout the business school’s search for suitable new premises. He took the opportunity to thank City Councillor Markus Frank, present at the ceremony, for this constructive collaboration.
Wolfgang Kirsch, CEO of DZ Bank AG and member of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management Foundation’s Board of Trustees, then took the podium. He too emphasized the strategic importance of the chosen location. By opting to build the new campus in Adickesallee, he explained, Frankfurt School had laid firm foundations for the business school’s future development – after all, Franz Adickes, after whom the avenue is named, was a key supporter and promoter of higher education in Frankfurt. In particular, the proximity of the new campus to other academic institutions, such as Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and the German National Library, would serve to foster collaboration and the sharing of ideas with these educational establishments.
Speaking after Mr Kirsch, City Councillor Markus Frank – who chairs the Business Affairs, Sports, Safety and Fire Service committees – also spoke about the excellent choice of location. On behalf of the City of Frankfurt, he expressed the Council’s pleasure at the fact that Frankfurt School will continue to make its home in Frankfurt, one of Europe’s key financial centres. A little while ago, Professor Steffens was sighted visiting Offenbach Harbour Island. As newly sworn-in Chair of the Business Affairs committee, Mr Frank feared that the business school was thinking of relocating to this neighbouring conurbation! But his fears proved groundless, and he was delighted to hear that Frankfurt School had found suitable premises in the northern part of the City.
The Principal Partner and Design Director at Henning Larsen Architects, Professor Louis Becker, then gave a talk outlining the concept behind the new campus design, of which he was a co-creator. The design echoes a number of the City of Frankfurt’s key features, such as the Zeil and the Main, thereby emphasizing the bond between city and business school.
Together, the speakers then filled a copper tube with a foundation-stone certificate, a list of all sponsors, the architectural drawings, a selection of euro coins and the latest daily papers. This “time capsule” was then placed inside a cavity in the foundation stone and immured. A few symbolic taps with a hammer, followed by a toast to the success of the construction project, concluded the ceremonial part of the foundation-stone celebration.
Professor Steffens then invited the entire audience to a barbecue, during which guests engaged in lively conversation with the construction specialists and each other and also took the opportunity to view the building site in more detail.