A sound investment

James Forryan
Friday 23 Oct 2009

Innovative masterplan reinterpretation combines historical seaside location with cutting edge corporate values

The Danish Investment Bank Saxo awarded 3XN architects first prize in an international competition in 2004. This cyberspace based bank required a headquarters for its 850 staff of 35 nationalities to reflect its dynamism, open approach to learning and inspired vision for the future. The bank was to reflect a ‘learning environment,’ requiring social spaces and ample areas for sharing of knowledge.

The site for Saxo was originally part of the old Tuborg brewery grounds, and now developed into an area called Tuborg Harbour. A major feature of the development is a canal through the development. Alongside this canal, the masterplan called for a lay-out of old warehouse type logs facing their gable ends to the waterfront.

The client expected a one-volume structure with a main façade facing the sea. 3XNs design interprets the warehouse and former industrial harbour ambiance of the site in its own contrapuntal way. The two logs of the structure are in fact facing their gable ends to the adjacent canal – and being joined together by a retracted glass façade carried out as double curved glass walls.

Colours of the sea and the sky are reflected in the green glass and white aluminum façade elements. These interchange, creating a cut-up structure with a lot of X-shapes reminiscent of the letter X in the name of the Bank. The interior of the building is open and transparent conveying a large sense of community through vertical and horizontal sightlines. The central and softly shaped atrium contains a main spiral staircase which spans all the way to the top floor, underneath a glass roof. Saxo Bank was completed in August 2008.

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