The project has been created as part of an architectural competition for the construction of the new headquarters of Raiffeisen Bank of Campagnadorna in Stabio.
The project is located in Stabio, a small town of the Mendrisiotto region, near the border with Italy. We were confronted with different problems: the land of the construction site is situated on the limit of the historical residential area of the town, facing a square that has no particular characteristics; an extensive and spread out residential area; the cantonal road that connects with Italy; the railway station; and an industrial area.
Once we have identified all the problems around the construction site, we started designing a building that would answer to the existing difficulties, assuming these difficulties as the condition for the realization of this project.
The research for the shape of the new building has started with the shape of the construction site itself, which appeared to be difficult due to its angles and the above mentioned problems. These were the first sketches that already revealed the first signs of the shape of the current building.
The building exposes the contrast between two orthogonal sides towards the main cantonal road and one side towards the historical residential area of the town. The building arises as a bridge, a link between the two contrasts. The squareness of the building is based on the geometry of the industrial buildings in the area. The part of the building that is facing the historical residential area has a form of a curved soft skin that incorporates the spaces that were present in the old towns: the courtyards, the porch and the underground passages of irregular forms, full of poetry.
The curved shape of the building intends to form the space of a big "square" and looks to dialogue with the presented scenario.
It is a unique building for a public use, such as a bank, and it is fair to recognize its particularities as a representative building for the town.
It has the shape of two opened arms welcoming everyone.
The building offers a continuity of the public spaces. We wanted the building to be not only a bank, but also a public space, a transitional zone, a pedestrian link that leads to the railway station. This connection is projected by the court under the building as an underpass in the pivotal point of the project that is where the main entrance of the bank is located. It ends by a ramp that reaches the main road.
This connection separates the building on the ground floor in two parts. One part of the bank is where we have the lobby and a second part of the bank is where we have a conference room that is also used by local associations.
In the atrium of the bank there is an empty space with the height of three floors lit by a skylight.
This becomes the theme of the project as it was the intention of the client to create an "open" and "transparent" bank, a new concept of banking: advising bank.
The light is fundamental in this empty space. From there, a curved staircase leads the customers to a consulting area on the first floor.
The offices of each of the two upper floors are organized to the orthogonal sides and are separated from the corridors by a wall that is equipped with built-in cupboards in the offices and woodworking circulation areas that are situated between the offices and the curved skin of the building. These areas are characterized by a second empty space with the height of two floors equally illuminated by a skylight.
The building is in reinforced concrete, with a prefabricated formwork in order to respond to the geometries of the building itself, especially with regards to the curved surfaces that were the most delicate ones. The choice of this material is that it allows the plasticity but it is also a way to highlight the load-bearing structure of the building.
The exterior walls are in reinforced concrete and the thermal insulation is then placed on the inside of the facades. Despite the location of the thermal insulation on the inner side, the building is almost free of thermal bridges, as they are provided by thermal cuts at junctions between walls and slabs, respectively between facades and internal dividing walls.
The casing features allow to reduce heat losses by transmission and to limit the heat required for heating, according to the requirements of the energy standards MINERGIE.
It is a building of a certain complexity, rich in details because of its shape, and every detail has been meticulous and consistent with the building itself. We are extremely happy with the end result and we hope that the employees of Raiffeisen will have a successful and happy working environment.