Akademie Deutscher Fussball Bund

Frankfurt, Germany

Landscape design in the service of athletic excellence

The premise for karres+brands and Benthem Crouwel’s proposal for the German Football Association’s training campus is a strong connection to the existing landscape. The unique location, a former race track flanked on one side by dense forests and on the other by a residential area, will be transformed into an oasis in the heart of the city. Through the optimal loose placement of buildings and the shaping of the landscape, a unique visual connection to Frankfurt’s skyline is created.

The complex is a strong unit linked by an extensive network of roads and connections. Just like veins in the human body, these paths come together and then branch out again. These ‘veins’ are simple connection routes that transform at certain points into stands, squares and seating areas, connecting the buildings at different levels. All veins come together at the central, informal meeting point, the heart of the campus just north of the recessed sport fields.

The veins thicken towards the ‘spine’ - the backbone of the plan and the unifying element for all activities on campus. From there, they gradually ascend towards the Academy, embracing the central playing field and connecting all the buildings to each other at different levels. On the ground floor, the spine serves as an overhang, a covered pedestrian link between different functions.

Individual functions are housed in different buildings. This creates optimal work environments for various uses, each with a strong identity. As a basis for urban planning, there are park pavilions clustered around the central playing field.

Between the Academy and the western-situated volume, the Administration takes on a highly visible and representative entrance. With a grand roof and two stories of space, part of which are in the spine, visitors are guided from the landscape space into the lobby. 

Through the combination of clear, ‘readable’ solitary objects, a strong, explicit ensemble is formed, thus creating an optimal and inspiring work environment for both the Academy and the German Football Association. The design draws its strength from closely coordinated landscape and architectural elements, providing a platform for the high ambitions of future users.

Project data
Location ​Frankfurt, Germany Google Maps
Size ​20 hectare
Design ​2015
Status ​Competition entry
Client ​German Football Association
Team ​Bart Brands, Sylvia Karres, Darius Reznek, Justyna Chmielewska
In collaboration with ​Benthem Crouwel Architects
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