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ACME sees off big names to win Leipzig bank jackpot

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London-based ACME has won the international competition to design the new headquarters of the Sächsische AufbauBank (SAB) in Leipzig, Germany.

The firm was chosen ahead of 20 other international practices, including Zaha Hadid Architects, Henning Larsen and Max Dudler, to land the job which will accommodate 600 employees of Saxony’s federal development bank.

The 20,000m² scheme, which was hailed by the jury as a ‘visionary solution which is manifested in a striking, distinctive’ design, will also house a conference centre, canteen and parking.

Sit on the site of the former offices of the East German computer manufacturer Robotron, the proposal features a series of columns which ‘dissolve into a forest of supports carrying an overarching roof that covers the entirety of the site.’

A spokesman for the practice said: ‘Beneath this roof, a number of spaces are new public routes, and spaces are created like clearings in a forest, inviting inhabitation and passage. This open, partially green space recalls the site’s past as part of Leipzig’s pleasure gardens: acres of formal gardens with long, sweeping avenues, down which the city’s residents strolled together on balmy summer evenings in the 18th century.’

The scheme is expected to complete in 2017.

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