Jordan’s Capital Bank is progressive in its banking services to VIP customers. As such, the management was also open to a new architectural concept for its VIP branch in an elegant residential area of Amman. The boutique bank worked with Paradigm DH architects team led by Saja Nashashibi on the design concept that included the blurring of boundaries with nature. The idea was to distinguish the building from its neighboring structures and at the same time to create something that fits harmoniously into the environment. The architects chose LUCEM Lichtbeton®, a concrete panel structure that matches the local stone Taffouh. This type of concrete was used for the first time as cantilever walls of a façade. Usually, it finds its application in curtain walls and is mounted in front of LED light sources to illuminate the panels. At Capital Bank, a 14-meter high stairwell creates a dramatic effect as the sunlight filters through and gives the illusion of a special, dynamic shadow theater. The structure is built with self-supporting LUCEM light concrete panels of 30mm thickness mounted on a steel structure above undercut anchors. The play of light and shadow add to the objective of the architects and light planners to dissolve the tension of massiveness and lightness using translucency. During the day, sunlight penetrates the staircase for a natural feel, and at night, the steps are lit from within the building. The traditional bank concept was replaced with some unique features. The original waiting area has been divided into individual boxes to ensure the clients’ privacy and add to the feeling of exclusivity. An open-plan courtyard inspired by Japanese Zen gardens, a modern chandelier like an artistic installation reminding the viewer of fluttering birds, and a sculpture-like olive tree in the bank’s center, as well as glass walls and glass balustrades, further support the design concept of a modern, light-flooded, welcoming place of business. For more progressive design news from the Middle East, check out: SABIC Home of Innovation, Global Design Trends with Isabel Pintado.
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