Vienna-based firm x42 Architektur has been in the business since 2005, but they stress their knack for youthful architecture which draws on their partners’ combined decades of experience. They’ve built everything from homes, to housing projects, to banks (as we’ll soon see).
In 2014, the studio wrapped up about three years of work on the Raiffeisen Regionalbank Mödling, a bank in Austria. The designers told ArchDaily that they were working within constraints that required the building to have a “subtle” facade and to conform to facade-to-roof ratios. They succeeded in creating a standout building that still reflects its surroundings.
Maybe it’s the power of suggestion, but we can’t help but think of a lockbox when we look at the bank. The ceramic facade presents a uniform, strong front while the roof, with its studded appearance, sells the concept of security. The yellow X’s, which look like they’re spray-painted on, act like a stamp confirming the suggestion that the building is unassailable.
x42 states that the sandy tiles, a “monocover,” create a homogenous appearance, making the building appear compact while balancing the slope of the roof against the facade.
The building’s function goes beyond that of a classic bank. It’s a mixed-use facility for bankers, estate agents, travel agents and insurance brokers. A cafeteria, lounge area and an events room offer spaces for these professionals of similar backgrounds to mix with each other. In this way the building is a kind of keep for people in the financial fields. We see how the building could act as a buttress against the doubt and stakes endemic to financial work. We wouldn’t go as far as to call the building a fortress, but we can understand if an outsider may feel too intimidated to cross its threshold.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
What do you think of x42’s contemporary ceramics approach to this bank? Let us know in the comments.