Twisting and tapering asymmetrically, curving and rising upwards is the overall outcome produced for Asymptote’s Budapest Bank project, conceived back in 2006.Similarly to the team’s recently designed River Culture Pavilion of South Korea, Budapest’s Bank Tower consist of a delicate curve in its structural essence. The delicacy and craftsmanship of designing the slopes in a gentle manner creates a bold visionary statement for the building: it is both an architectural feast of social importance, and its architectural representation in the same time speaks of the design team’s shifting away from the classical norms of representing institutions – i.e. there is a secession from the traditional insertion of columns, pillars, ornamentation and grand staircases.This shifting away from the precedence does not yet eliminate the value of importance and high status of the bank as an institution. These are however achieved through innovative and public-engaging means. Firstly, there is strong dynamics in the structural outcome as the two towers the bank is comprised of are interconnected and in a sense, intertwine. The location is strategically considered, being positioned along the Danube River. This implements that the new bank has more of a social status – it confirms Danube’s status as a vital means of transport, trade and cultural exchange.On the other hand, the building’s transparency is achieved through the use of curtain wall glazing – a highly used trend in contemporary architecture for the achievement of balance between natural light, visible connections, metaphoric transparency and hence, more trust-based connections with society. The overall structure of the bank is derived from the separation/partition of the tower into two which creates a natural environment of light and open space – this offers visitors a public realm and thus the bank headquarters are introduced a friend zone, rather than a corporate look.The enclosed atrium in the public space has a suspended glass ceiling – a welcoming strategy for an improved experiential design scheme where socializing is highly appreciated. Hence, optimistically, the new iconic landmark of Budapest will compliment the city’s skyline and historic river landscape by contributing to more urban development in the long run.
By Yoana Chepisheva
Courtesy of Asymptote Architecture