[FIRST LOOK + PLANS + PROJECT DATA] Mecanoo has completed this advice centre in The Netherlands for Dutch bank Rabobank
The 5,375m2 building brings smaller branches of the bank together into a centrally-located new advice centre.
The scheme which was designed by AJ Woman Architect of the Year Francine Houben’s practice to ‘not look like a bank’, features a central atrium. Publically accessible at the ground floor level this central atrium space includes areas for flexible working.
The upper floors contain the bank’s offices, meeting rooms, and conference spaces, while the first floor houses a call centre.
The architect’s view
‘The intent underlying the design is the development of a cooperative bank extending its arms invitingly to society, located on a small hill. Upon entry under the curved ceiling with sculptural skylights, you can survey, in one glance, the whole building and your curiosity is further ignited for activities on the upper floors. These are designed as staggering terraces that meander around the loft as a white ribbon. They invite you to take the zigzagging stairs and not the elevator.
‘The focal point of the central hall is the auditorium which, remarkably, was not in the original brief. In this area, Mecanoo designed a staircase tribune that accommodates flexible workspaces. Brushed-oak paneled walls that wrap the interior of the building form a unity with the material of this tribune and its workspace furnishings. The brushed oak panelled walls in the building form a unity with the tribune and furniture. Here, a transparent curtain with different shades of silver and blue designed by Petra Blaisse of Inside Outside runs on a 60-meter long track that winds above the tribune.
‘Diverse spaces and atmospheres can be created by altering the position of the curtain parts. Silver squares in it reference the playful square windows in the building’s facade. It consists of special masonry of yellow clay to which marl which has been added. The white-yellow mottled bricks are here and there interspersed with stones with a glaze layer in the small hole, creating a tactile facade.’
Location Sittard, The Netherlands
Type of project Bank advice centre and offices
Client Rabobank Westelijke Mijnstreek
Landscape consultant Plangroep Heggen
Structural engineer Bartels Ingenieursbureau
M&E consultant Nelissen Ingenieursbureau
Quantity surveyor Duckers & de Cock
Lighting consultant Studio Rublek
Tender date 2012
Start on site date 2013
Completion date 2014
Gross internal floor area 5,375m2
Environmental target BREEAM Very Good