Seamless Elegance at Raiffeisen-Bank
The Chur branch of the Raiffeisen Bank is setting a trend: the bank's gleaming white customer consultation area made using HI-MACSŪ with its ingenious planting design offers a bright and friendly contrast to the raw appearance of the railway station forecourt.
Within the clean lines of the branch reception area, two reception units appear to hover over a back-lit base set back from the front installed in the polygonal space. The corners of the HI-MACSŪ fittings have been rounded off and the work areas incorporated within them are located on the staff side, so they cannot be seen by customers.
Cupboards, storage compartments and technical equipment are also accommodated in concealed hatches and panels in the wall cladding, leaving the pure white exterior undisturbed. The white that dominates the spaces is offset only by the green of the wall plantings. Room-high plant tapestries are held in pure framed HI-MACSŪ frames, giving the effect of pictures or objects.
"Using HI-MACSŪ for this project gave us the opportunity to respond to the special geometry of the space and incorporate the bank's technical requirements and the green wall in the wall cladding and furniture, whilst still creating homogeneous surfaces and a unified sense of space", say the architects from Giubbini Architekten.
In the customer consulting area, which is located up a level, curved sculptural units made from HI-MACSŪ have been installed in the open space. The shape of these "consultation islands" means that customer interviews can be held with total discretion. Two electric sliding doors provide access. From the outside, the islands appear to have a slightly jointed pattern, giving them visual identity. Inside, all elements are fitted with high performance sound absorbers, reducing noise levels so that conversations cannot be overheard. Concealed lighting is incorporated in the wall panels above, bouncing the light indirectly from the white ceiling down into the interior of the islands.
The typical qualities of the mineral-based material HI-MACSŪ, which is easy to work with and can be made to be robust and resistant to external influences, made it possible for the architects at Giubbini to come up with this innovative design. Stripped down in terms of colour and furnishings, the design links the different areas of the bank, creating a visual continuum. This has smoothed the way to creating an "open bank", dispensing with the barriers between customers and staff that are used in conventional bank design.
Architect: Giubbini Architekten ETH SIA AG
Location: Chur, Switzerland
Project Management: Raiffeisenbank Bünder Rheintal Genossenschaft
Site Management: Implenia Generalunternehmungen AG
Fabrication: Marx Schreinerei - Kläusler Acrylstein AG, Switzerland
Planning and manufacturing of the "consultation islands": Gehri AG CH - Aarberg, Switzerland
Photos: Ingo Rasp Photography