Location: Höngg

Task: Design

Seven architecture practices pitched to design a new Zürich branch of Raiffeisen Bank. We made it to the final shortlist with our imaginative concept based on the Swiss city’s wine-making heritage.

Raiffeisen’s new branch will be situated in Zürich’s traditional wine district. Inspired by this heritage and our belief that good banks make your money grow, we devised an indoor-outdoor concept where the branch interior opens onto a patio planted with vines and dotted with benches for customers to admire a more natural kind of growth. Inside, a central area for banking services was given a warm, human touch with tactile elements such as matt oak furniture, gentle white cement floors and handmade wall screens featuring vineyard motifs. The result: An approachable bank where customers and staff talk money but always act as people.

Naturally, grapes played an important role in our proposed designs. These special fruits reminded us of the balls on traditional counting machines so we called our project ‘Abacus’.