FBC Bank Headquarters, Borrowdale (Competition Entry)

FBC Bank Headquarters, Borrowdale (Competition Entry)

Details

Overview

Description: In 2018 APS entered into the FBC architectural design competition to come up with a new proposal for a corporate headquarters in Borrowdale, to collectively house each of FBC's individual subsidiary departments, currently operating from different sites across Harare.

Challenge: FBC’s brief to the entrants was to provide an innovative and creative design: ‘The design should provide for a smart and sustainable building with prime aesthetics and represent a digital and tech-tech-savvy banking brand. Issues relating to safety, security, natural lighting and ventilation were of paramount importance. The design was to be modern, but also refer to the historic heritage and Pan-African ambitions of the group’.

Solution: Our architectural concept was centred around the idea of ‘Community Banking’ - where overlapping communities within the public and organisation are fostered and nurtured sustainably, through the unique spatial and organisational structure of the proposed interior and exterior design. The resultant open plan spaces, combined with public meeting and greeting spaces is inherent within the Pan-African culture. In addition, the building aesthetic attempts to combine the idea of local craftsmanship re-interpreted in a modern way. The building facades are created in multiple layers of steel structure, glass walls, and layered sun-screens that echo traditional patterns and geometries and provide for ample natural light whilst screening the harsher direct sunlight.

A landscaped valley of terraces, lush planting and water features, connects the two buildings and the people within. The three forms are complementary but vary in terms of public access and security clearance - on the ground floor the southern building contains the double volume banking hall and other supporting public spaces, which are accessed through the main entrance. The first floor contains complimentary teams that support of the retail banking. Finally on the second floor the exclusive executive wing is positioned allowing for the utmost privacy and spectacular views of the whole site and beyond. The northern building is more private and accessed only by bank staff and contains restaurant and staff training facilities on the ground floor, with offices above. Both buildings are served by undercroft parking, providing strict security to ‘Cash in Transit’ and privacy and ease of access for the executives. The Auditorium is designed as a stand-alone facility that is strongly linked to the other buildings by a raised platform and landscaping.

The banking hall is designed as a impressive centre piece. Its double volume space with glazed curtain walls, clearly visible from Borrowdale Road. Consideration is given to self-service zones within the main banking hall. Private and executive banking clients are invited further into the building beyond reception, and taken upstairs to the first floor, where prestigious banking suites offer next level service. Emphasis on interior spaces is to keep them modern, adaptable and clean.  This is done through the use of neutral colours, natural textures and fine detailing.

References

FBC Awarded the entry a third placing, and highly commended.

Location

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