3XN has won a 2011 Royal Institute of British Architect’s (RIBA) European Award for the Middelfart Savings Bank.
Projects from all over the Europe were reviewed in the selection, and it is recognized as being one of the most prestigious International Architectural Awards in Europe. The project was reviewed and personally visited by the RIBA Jury on two separate visits earlier this year.
Middelfart Savings Bank has won other international architecture awards and has been referred to as Denmark’s best office building by a leading Danish architecture critic. Since then the project has received widespread attention from around the world for its iconic architecture and social philosophy combination.
The building is far from just a bank and thus the Head office is not just a traditional office building. The Bank is a realization of its ambition to be amongst the best workplaces in Denmark and – at the same time – act as a social agent in the local community. 3XN interpreted these ambitions into a tactile design, understanding architecture as a comprehensive framework for social life.
Kim Herforth Nielsen, Principal and Founder of 3XN says, ‘This has been a exciting week. On Monday we celebrated the opening of the Bella Sky Hotel, and today we celebrate the RIBA European Award. This is great that Danish architect’s are receiving such awareness and respect around the world lately – perfect timing for the July opening of the Museum of Liverpool.’
Middelfart Savings Bank has previously been awarded the MIPIM/Architectural Review Future Projects Award in 2006 and IIDA Global Excellence Awards 2010, Honorable Mention.
Middelfart Savings Bank is a key institution in the town of Middelfart, located by the Lillebælt waters on the island of Funen, Denmark. Thus the Savings Bank wanted their new Head Office to provide a new public space for the local citizens as well as an architectural icon for the town and the Savings Bank.
The building is characterized by a dramatic roofscape accommodating multiple functions. 83 prism-like skylights compose the spectacular roof surface defining the geometry of the building – in reference to the maritime environment as well as the surrounding timber framed buildings. Thus, the new Head Office gently reflects and interacts with the dimensions, scales, roofs and cornice lines of the old town.
The roof is specially designed to frame a perfect view towards the water while at the same time shading from direct sunlight; thereby demonstrating a perfect synergy between design and function.
A bookshop, a café, a real estate agent and the cash desk are placed around a central plaza, resulting in the building forming an informal public meeting space at the ground floor level. The Savings Bank work stations are located on three open terraces internally connected by broad staircases encouraging interaction and informal meetings or breaks. All plateaus are endowed with plenty of daylight and an unhindered view to the water.
The working environment is further improved by sustainable features such as natural ventilation and the latest technologies in energy efficient heating and cooling. Thermo active concrete elements facilitate energy savings of 30-50 percent.
Location: Havnegade 21, 5500 Middelfart, Denmark
Architect: 3XN Architects
Client: Trekantens Ejendomsselskab A/S
Landscape: Schønherr KS
Art: Olafur Eliasson
Surface Area: 5.000 sqm
Project Year: 2007-2010
Photographers: Morten K. Stoltz, Adam M¢rk
MIPIM/Architectural Review Future Projects Award 2006
IIDA Global Excellence Awards 2010, Honorable Mention
2011 Royal Institute of British Architect’s (RIBA) European Award