BCI BANK HEADQUARTERS BUILDING
The modern banking industry’s search for greater efficiency in providing financial services has led to recent developments, which are having a strong influence on the design of work systems and the use of office space.
The growing need to use sustainable technologies that are both clean and energy-saving is a challenge which modern architecture cannot ignore.
The continuous evolution of urban spaces is a phenomenon that has always existed in cities and whose quality has never been guaranteed by building regulations. For each project this responsibility falls to the architects and administrators involved and the result is decided by the proposals they themselves put forward. The new project for the BCI Bank has taken into account these new challenges inherent to the design of the new corporate building.
The work areas
In order to provide working areas of maximum efficiency and flexibility the builiding was designed with a concrete shell, thereby freeing up a maximum of interior space. To achieve this the southern facade is made up a series of slender columns, eighty meters in height and three metres apart, that take up the load of the slabs while permitting a maximum amount of transparency.
Technology and energy conservation
Consideration was also given to the design of flexible electrical and air conditioning systems which allow for constant changes of layout and mobility of work platforms. Technical floors are used to freely distribute the Plenum air, together with the weak and strong air currents, to anywhere in the building.
As this system requires that the air conditioning units be installed in the floor, it was important to minimise the size of these units. In order to do this a double glass skin was mounted on the North and West facades.
The efficiency of this double glass skin results from the glass changing the angle of incidence of the infrared rays. This reduces the amount of incoming radiation, thus allowing the use of sunlight while minimising the generation of heat. This in turn results in a saving of 40% on the energy required for air conditioning.
The urban space
The building is located at the intersection of Avenue El Golf with Nuestra Sra. de los Ángeles Street on a site made up of two plots. The Building Regulation Plan has allocated some of this land to housing and some to commercial purposes. The division of use of this land cannot be altered so construction was resticted to the space so allocated.
This restriction prompted the design of a new open space for the city, and resulted in the garden that connects Golf Square with Nuestra Señora De Los Angeles Street, and links the Plaza with the eastern edge of the neighbourhood.
The basement was used to meet the requirement for incorporating a new branch, a canteen for 300 people, a cafetaria and an auditorium within the building. The resulting vertical garden on the north side and the large cascade on the south side (features which were also used in the adjacent buildings) admit natural light to the interior of the building and amplify the urban space thus offering the city a new and pleasant environment.
The BCI building, together with the other buildings we have designed surrounding the Plaza del Golf, completes the new urban space. They complement each other by their similar heights, the design of their facades and the use of the land around them. As a result this group of buildings has given rise to a new urban park within the city.
LAND AREA: 3,900 Sqmt.
BUILDING TOTAL AREA: 28,860 Sqmt.
TYPICAL FLOOR AREA: 650 Sqmt.
MAIN MATERIALS: Concrete, steel, aluminium composite panel, crystal thermo-panel, laminated tempered crystal.