Extension of a Bank Headquarters | The Plan
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Extension of a Bank Headquarters

Studio Kuadra

The project to enlarge the headquarters of the Caraglio Bank - in northwest Italy near Turin - involved architectural and urban considerations and was awarded with the IN/ARCH-ANCE Prize 2014 - Category Under 40. While the restored 18th century “Palazzo del Fucile” was no longer able to meet the bank’s modern day requirements, it was nonetheless a key urban landmark whose visibility had to be preserved. The extension was therefore conceived as a separate building connected to the Palazzo with a single ground-floor link.
Juxtaposing this restrained contemporary architecture and an historic monument has triggered a dialogue between distinct architectural volumes and places and created a composite whole.
The trapeze-shaped plan of the new building has four above-ground storeys and a below-ground level for public and private parking. It lies perpendicular to the “Palazzo del Fucile”, with its articulated geometry in visible contrast to the slender historic building’s “regularity” of shape and decorative motif. A large stone archway, the remnant of a military architecture, leads to a paved public square flanked by grass borders. Long low steps also serve as outdoor seating. The square leads to the different bank entrances where the ground floor is occupied by an area open to the public while the upper floors house administrative and management departments, meeting and conference rooms.
The obliquely angled side of the new building allows views of the historic Palazzo from the road. This angled juxtaposition sets off the two distinct architectures to great effect. The extension has extensive glass surfaces, most of which face the square. The medley of materials and shapes on the front and side elevations of the new bank accentuates the dynamic series of recesses and projections. Extensive use is made of opaque or anthracite sheet metal cladding on cornices and tapered triangular-shaped partitions. On the...

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