25 August 2010
Foster + Partners, working with construction firm, CRIBA S.A. and local architect, BBRCH-Minond, has won the competition to design a new corporate headquarters for the Banco Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Plans for the energy-efficient building, which will occupy an entire city block in the neighbourhood of Parque Patricios, echo its park-side setting with landscaped courtyards and shaded walkways and will provide a distinctive new presence for the bank in the city.
The scheme occupies the whole site to create an internal campus of villages, which are connected by circulation routes and external landscaped patios and are unified by a flowing roof canopy. The entrance plaza is sheltered by the deep overhang of the roof, which is supported by slender pillars. A full-height atrium directs circulation into four tiers of terraced office spaces, all of which have direct views of the park. Based on an eight-metre-square planning grid, the generous light-filled floor plates allow the work spaces to be flexibly planned.
The plans form part of a wider regeneration initiative in the barrio of Parque Patricios, a formerly light industrial area to the south of the city centre, which has been identified by the citys government as a centre of technology. The design incorporates a number of sustainable features and targets LEED Silver accreditation. These include utilising the exposed thermal mass of concrete soffits with chilled beams for cooling; and reducing energy demands through shaded facades, which are oriented according to the path of the sun, and by encouraging natural ventilation.
David Summerfield, design director at Foster + Partners, commented:
The project is Foster + Partners first office development in Argentina and we are looking forward to further developing our designs for Banco Ciudad de Buenos Aires. The plans will create a sustainable, distinctive headquarters for the bank, while drawing on the sites industrial past to reinforce the unique character of the neighbourhood.