This project for the new Headquarters of the local savings bank is part of a paradigm shift within the city of Oberhausen, in the German Ruhr region. The change from an industrial to a service-oriented community is manifested in the metamorphosis of an urban fabric of blocks and streets into a green park city. Hence the new headquarters are not only to be interpreted as a free-standing building situated in a landscaped space, but the corporeality of the building itself will attain an almost natural physical preence.
At the same time, the cross shaped plan of the bank is also intended to provide a compact and clear internal system that efficiently connects the various departments of the bank. On the ground floor are public facilities like consulting and meeting rooms, an exhibition area and a restaurant; the upper floors house the offices of the various internal departments and management. A generous sculptura staircase in a central atrium connects the three levels. The façade of the building consists of a continuos, partly colored glass skin. On the ground floor the glass skin is screen-printed with an abstract design by artist Olaf Nicolai.
The project also included the remodeling of the bank’s customers service centre, which occupies the ground floor of a 1950s infill building. With new entrances of both sides, it creates a connection between the new landscape of the headquarters’ building and the pedestrian zone outside the block.