London-based firm Foster + Partners, in conjunction with construction firm, CRIBA S.A. and local architect, BBRCH-Minond, has been chosen to design the new headquarters for Banco Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Bank of the City of Buenos Aires), a publicly-owned commercial bank located in the Parque Patricios neighborhood of the Argentinian capital.
The innovative building will play off of its park-side setting and include a variety of landscaped courtyards and shaded walkways. Features like shaded façades oriented according to the path of the sun, natural ventilation and rainwater collection are planned to help the 380,000-square-foot building reduce energy demands and achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The building will also utilize the exposed thermal mass of concrete soffits with chilled beams to assist in cooling.
But perhaps even more interesting is the site's plan to create a campus of internal "villages," which will be connected by circulation routes and external landscaped patios, all unified under a flowing roof canopy. That same canopy is supported by slender pillars in the entrance plaza, forming one of the building's grandest statements. A full-height atrium directs circulation into four tiers of terraced office spaces, all of which will have direct views of the adjacent park. Generous light-filled floor plates will give designers considerable flexibility in planning the final space.
The design fits into a wider regeneration initiative in the barrio of Parque Patricios, a formerly light industrial area to the south of the city center that is being remade into a modern tech district.
"The plans will create a sustainable, distinctive headquarters for the bank, while drawing on the site's industrial past to reinforce the unique character of the neighborhood," says David Summerfield, design director at Foster + Partners.
For more information, visit www.fosterandpartners.com.