Capital Bank: Rethinking the traditional banking experience

Capital Bank building
(Photo: Facebook/ Paradigm DH)
AMMAN — Situated in a residential area in one of Amman’s more exclusive neighborhoods, Abdoun, The Capital Bank VIP branch is an example of elegant architecture that displays a unique relationship between solidity and absence.اضافة اعلان

Designed for Jordan’s Capital Bank clientele, the 1,100-square-meter project started in 2015 and was completed in 2018. It was designed by Paradigm Design House, which provides architecture and interior design services.

Paradigm Design House is a collaboration between architects and designers founded in 2010. Their main aim is to transform creative potentials brought by design opportunities into reality. They employ an integrated approach in which design, research, and professional skills come together in order to deliver a unique and personal product.

The main design concept for the Capital Bank was to create a branch with a “boutique” experience, introducing hospitality, luxury, privacy, and a sense of belonging to the conventional bank experience.

By replacing traditional teller counters and waiting areas for customers with units of individual office boxes, the “boutique” experience was achieved. The firm also specifically designed the lobby and reception areas to accommodate customers’ needs and comfort.

The design of the building was strongly influenced by nature. This natural theme was incorporated by placing separate masses for the offices within the main mass of the building, creating defined spaces with a strong geometrical identity, and a central void.

The void takes the form created by masses going around a double volume void that allows an inner courtyard to form, influenced by Japanese Zen gardens. It is emphasized by a crystal chandelier flowing above a sculptural olive tree that acts as a focal point for the entire space, in addition to the artwork layer, all connecting through the circulation corridor.

The internally shifted masses translate into dynamic shifted blocks on the main entrance and side façade, with a transparent glass curtain wall on the main elevation that opens to the inner court, allowing the fluidity of space to continue inside and make it visible outside.

LUCEM translucent concrete panels were used for the main elevation, giving the facades a unique identity. These concrete panels are made with fiber optics through which light can pass.

The Paradigm DH Team also decided to use plain concrete panels without fiber-optics to cover non-translucent parts of the façade using the same cement-sand mixture. They still maintained a similar surface finish, matching the color of the stone used on the facades to maintain its harmony with the residential surroundings.

The remaining side and back facades have minimal treatment with minimal openings, and were clad with Taffouh stone in order to respect the adjacent neighbors’ privacy as well as the branch users’ privacy, while maintaining the alignment with the local vernacular stone architecture.

The 14 meter-high stairwell was clad with mechanically fixed translucent concrete panels, keeping the supporting structure exposed from the inside with the lights that illuminate the translucent concrete, with vertical lights along the full height of the stairwell.

The main idea behind the design was nature flowing through the building, especially with the design of the staircase, where it takes the form of light and shadow. Although the building contains huge masses of concrete, the architects and building engineers were able to make it light through translucency and the usage of light.

Paradigm Design House has received various awards for their design of the Capital Bank branch, including winning the innovative architecture category in the German Iconic Award 2019, the Arab Architects Awards for the first prize of Commercial and Workspaces, the Best Public Service Architecture - Jordan, and the second place prize in the global architecture and design award “Rethink the Future 2018.”

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