The desire to create a new headquarters building for Spare Bank is a chance for the bank to define itself in the best possible way. It raises fundamental questions such as how can the building, despite its size, be human and accessible? A building that fits the scale of the surrounding area and that is inviting to all. How can it create a space in which open space can be combined with intimacy? An office where people feel at home.
The working program of the bank is defined as a combination of open, communication areas on the one hand and on the other hand more private areas, where employees and clients can meet separately or where employees can work in a more concentrated environment. These more private activities are situated in a series of internal volumes, rooms within a larger house. Stacking these rooms creates open terraces, gardens which allow space for collective and more public programmatic elements.
Meeting places, libraries, coffee and copy corners are each lent specific spatial qualities by the various terraces and their arrangement within the building. Trees and plants help to reinforce the feeling of a winter garden, and the atrium space and terraces act as a climate buffer between interior and exterior spaces.
The atrium is a great hall of sorts, for sharing knowledge and common cultures between the banks 750 employees working there.
Stairs and bridges connect the terraces and create an informal route between the terraces and the houses. This route enables employees to meet each other and clients can easily be toured around. Of course the elevators are available from each floor and platform when needed or preferred.
Working at the SR bank does not just mean sitting at a desk from nine to five. On the contrary. It means working in teams of various sizes in a wide variety of working environments: using a computer at open plan tables, concentrating in a quiet pod, having a formal meeting in a conference room or an informal discussion on an ‘island’.
Most of all working at the bank means interacting with colleagues and guests. By opening up the standard office floors, shifting them apart to introduce also a vertical view through the building and inhabiting the gardens and terraces, exactly such a working ethos can be fostered.