Architects: Westfourth Architecture
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Design Team: Vlad Arsene, Călin Negoescu, Onar Gerelioglu, Silviu Chiţu, Karoly Markos
Envelope Consultant: Aludesign
Structural Engineer: Popp şi Asociaţii
Technical Consultant: Graphtech
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 17,000 sqm
Photographs: Mărgulescu & Moldoveanu
Any large corporation will want a representative headquarters building that will enhance in the city its image as an important institution in the society. As notions of corporate image and representation are closer to marketing and real estate than architecture, translating the bank’s wishes for representation in architectural terms was one of the major challenges of the project. The building attempts to avoid the bank’s identity requirements through a simple formal gesture and engages a more complex architectural approach.
Located on the Expozitiei Blvd, the building addresses the same two site issues as the neighboring Gate Towers. One is the orientation towards the north and the entry into the city, the other is the relation with the National Exhibition Pavilion the main three dimensional event in the area. While The Gate buildings use duality and axial perspective in order to relate to these issues, Unicredit building employs translation and displacement. In doing this, the building creates in the process dramatically sized spaces, both in the interior atrium and the exterior covered entry plaza. Both the steel structure and the exterior envelope become tools with which the building is sculpting its shape and marks its spaces. By volumetrically defining its stance towards important city vectors and monuments, and by creating contrasting public spaces, the building becomes essentially urban.