Cooperative Central Bank Ltd

2012, Prize in an Architectural Competition

The design is based on the concept of the crossroads. Making a cross-reading of its symbolic connotations, we aim at a spatial interpretation of this concept in the resulting architectural form.
The Competition objectives along with the Founding and Development Note of the Cooperative Central Bank and in conjunction with the distinct geographical location of Nicosia set goals and aspirations coming from different routes; therefore in our mind the building should mark the intersection and convergence of all these guidelines. We discern many layers of crossroads; East and West, economic and social policies, multicultural influences and contributions, collaborative and individual activities. Our ambition is that the Bank's New Headquarters express the common point of all these different directions, and that it symbolizes the value of coexistence in conditions of diversity and heterogeneity.
The surrounding area is already in the process of forming a distinct character with the development of similar buildings and uses. Along the main road axis of Athalassis Avenue we encounter various Banking Services as well as many other Public and private Entities. Our goal is to create a landmark that will be (established as) a symbol of the existing trend. The volume of the building complex, the exploitation of the maximum height allowed, as well as the use of simple yet fluid geometries and plain materials increase the clarity of its image.
Basic synthesis principles are: the division of the Headquarters Services into two separate volumes parallel to the East-West axis, the formation of an interconnection zone facilitating the throughout flow of people in-between. Entrances are carved on all four sides, creating continuous passages of different density and volume. These independent accesses ensure the unimpeded functioning of the different parts of the building complex, while at the same time implement the crossroads that both unites and separates them.
The high rise volume overlooking the Avenue houses the Administrative and Operational Departments of the Bank, while the lower one houses the Congress Centre and Restauration Services. The Office Tower is more extroverted overlooking the main road and the city, while the latter looks to the public landscaped area and pedestrian street at the back. Between the two, lies the connective space which accommodates the social life of the complex, the assembly and meeting areas of visitors and employees alike. This buffer zone is covered by a diaphanous roof, allowing the natural light to enter from above, emphasizing the sensation of legerity and fluidity created by the various internal voids and freestanding staircases.