Monday, 28 October 2013

ECB to follow Parkinson's Law?

Parkinson's other Law of course - the one that says when a bureaucracy invests heavily in a prestigious new corporate HQ it is already likely to be heading for the rocks - will be of little interest to the gilded panjandrums of the ECB. They are all too busy discussing the details of the executive WC pans to be fitted in the organisation's new Frankfurt HQ. 

I've built a few offices. For a standard, zone 3, nothing too exciting block to accommodate office workers, the building calculations go roughly like this. Allow 8m2 for each person, then add 15% - 25% for circulation space dependant on the shape and  height that the site will allow. Cost will be about £3.5k per square metre - a building cost of about £35k per employee. For a prestigious 'status' building in the City, double this figure - £70,000 per employee will get you something decently egoistic.

As Der Spiegel reports, the latest cost estimates for building a new Frankfurt HQ to hold the ECB's 2,000 staff is now close to £1.08bn - a cost of £542,000 per employee. Even if you allow for cretinous architects, utterly incapable engineers, scamming services designers and painters on Leonardo's per diem plus the Mafia skimming 10% of everything you have difficulty getting to this figure; it's obscene, outrageous, repugnant and foul, the sort of figure Bokassa or Saddam might have come up with. 

I'm just hoping that being outside the Euro means we're not paying towards this monstrosity. Franz and Jean-Pierre should be advancing on Frankfurt with coils of stretched hemp if they value their men's continental handbags. But then again, if Parkinson is right, the Euro will collapse just as the new HQ is ready for occupation.  


Steveo40 said...

Ha ha ha. The comment about the man bags made me splutter my tea.

Anthem said...

Superb piece Raedwald. It really is good to have someone with some insight into what an office block should cost and then to compare it to what these fools are about to spend.

No doubt a fair portion of the work will be being done by various friends of those who will be "working" in the office when it's finished.

As Steveo40 suggested, you've tried your best to introduce a bit of humour into your post but I really can't see the funny side of this at all.

Dave said...

I thought Holyrood was a rip-off!!! (it was imho but the ECB take the kit-kat i.e. much more than a biscuit)

Fidel Cuntstruck said...

I'm just hoping that being outside the Euro means we're not paying towards this monstrosity.

I fear that your hope may be in vain, I suspect that large chunks of our daily stipend will be channeled into this bunfest, along with many others that we never even hear about.

Blue Eyes said...

It's free, isn't it? They own the printing presses.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

I suspect this not entirely a bug.

This building is part of the Imperial apparatus, after all.

Like Chartres cathedral, the Schonbrunn, or the Winter Palace, part of its explicit function is to overwhelm the visitor with its power, glory, and sheer excess.

Seats of real power are usually like this and naturally such display does not come cheap.

Tyrants down the ages - including the two you mention - would have recognised the technique.

DeeDee99 said...

I expect we are paying shedloads towards it.