Hypo-Alpe-Adria Bank HQ
In this dialectical relationship between the specific architectural language of the project and the local landscape, each element informs, transforms, and adjusts the total composition.
Located at the northern edge of Udine, in the town of Tavagnacco, the new headquarters for Hypo-Alpe-Adria Italy has developed as a dynamic and nuanced response to program and site.
In this dialectical relationship between the specific architectural language of the project and the local landscape, each element informs, transforms, and adjusts the total composition. The result is a richly developed series of spaces and building elements.
Occupying the extreme northeastern parcel of the 26-acre site, the bank building rises seven stories, an iconic landmark anchor for the site, highly visible and instantly recognizable from each approach.
Various components of the banking facility are arrayed about the base of the building: a long sweeping low mass containing the secure archive wraps the surface parking lot to the east, while the auditorium and branch bank are located in order to establish a clear, legible, and secure public entry to the Hypo headquarters.
The new Hypo Headquarters has been designed to reflect intelligent planning and efficiency from the outset, to achieve effective utilization of the floor area and the integration of critical engineering parameters and performance objectives.
The unique form of the building relies upon the adherence to a 14 m. building width – an exceptionally narrow floorplate, which still allows for a very efficient space planning layout. The other advantages of the narrow floorplate include ample access to natural daylight and the benefits of cross-ventilation through operable windows.
The Hypo Headquarters embodies broad goals for the typology of the progressive office building. Broadly understood, three primary organizing concepts informed the design of the building.
The social life of the building
The environment throughout the building provides a rich and complex series of spaces to support chance encounters and interaction between all users of the building. Program elements are located to support and enhance the varied, informal dimension without any compromise to the working environment. The building footprint optimizes use of space and provides highly favorable ratios of useable to gross area.
The movement system
The path of movement through the building is one of the most unique aspects of the new headquarters, with a continuous space at the central core that rises dramatically, crossed by stairs and bridges, and naturally lit from above.
The working office environment
At its heart, the new Hypo headquarters has been designed around the health, happiness, and productivity of the working population of the building. As such, each office in the building is afforded a view to the exterior and operable windows that allow for individual control of the environment. The generous office environment is filled with fresh air and natural daylight.
Structurally, the building derives great benefit from a simple repetitive system of gravity columns and shear walls incorporated into the building core. Though the building form is leaning to the south by 14 degrees, the columns are continuous and vertical throughout the structural frame.
This strategy achieves a dramatic and unexpected architectural expression, with a minimum of additional cost and construction difficulty, and no loss in program efficiency. The structural offset for the building also allows the upper floors to provide solar shading for the lower levels of the building during the hotter summer months.
The performance of the building’s exterior envelope is maximized, supporting the engineering goals. As in previous Morphosis projects, the exterior envelope employs passive and active sunshading, in order to minimize solar heat gain without reducing the transmission of daylight below a useable level, or compromising the view for the office occupants.