Middelfart Savings Bank | 3XN architects

• April 22, 2010

In Denmark, Middelfart Savings Bank by 3XN recently has unveiled. The project was awarded the MIPIM Future Projects Award in 2006.

The idea behind the Middelfart Savings Bank design is to let the building room an entire public space with a small square, shops, and a café. All this kept together under the same big dramatic roof, the roof is a large elegant wooden structure with numerous openings, which provide the framed sea views towards Lillebælt. It is also maximizing the penetration of sun-lighting during the winter, thus to reduce the energy consumption.

Middelfart Savings Bank is a social institution and they feel a great responsibility for their local area. We wanted to reflect that by creating a social space which embraces the city and the inhabitants as well as the bank itself.

Kim Herforth Nielsen, Principal of 3XN

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Middelfart Savings Bank, image courtesy of 3XN architects

+ Press Release courtesy of 3XN architects

Remarkable Architecture in small town, Denmark

Characterized by a dramatic roofscape, the Middelfart Savings Bank will be putting the Danish town on the island of Fyn on the architectural map – and at the same time provide a new public space for local citizens.

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Middelfart Savings Bank, image courtesy of 3XN architects

The 83 prism like skylights compose the spectacular roof surface defining the geometry of the rest of the building – in reference to the maritime environment on the harbor front as well as the surrounding timber framed buildings. The roof is designed to frame a perfect view towards the Lillebælt waters as well with a functional purpose of shading from direct sunlight.

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Middelfart Savings Bank, image courtesy of 3XN architects

Under the roof different functions such as a bookshop, a café, a real estate agent and the cash desk are placed around a central plaza, resulting in the building forming an informal public meeting space.

Internationally renowned artist Olafur Eliasson has created an art installation for the plaza. Six ‘shooting star’ kaleidoscopes inspired by the triangular geometry of the building are lowered into the ground floor granite adding an extra dimension to the structure.

Middelfart Savings Bank’s new head office was awarded the MIPIM Future Projects Award in 2006. It was recently inaugurated April 16 2010.

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Middelfart Savings Bank, image courtesy of 3XN architects

+ Project description

3XNs visionary and empathetic winning proposal unites the Middelfart savings Bank’s high ambitions for their new head office. The building must ensure a perfect environment for the employees, while also positively stress demands for high architectural quality in the future development along the harbour front.

One large roof covers all functions in the building. The roof is a large elegant wooden structure with numerous openings. The openings bring in abundant amounts of daylight and allow for direct view of the sea from all places in the building, up and down. In this way, the light and friendly atmosphere sought for by the bank is achieved.

The new building is carefully fitted into the context. To one side, the village is respected by following dimensions, scale and the shape of the roof. Towards the harbour the building retracts and makes way for a new, triangular space that opens for the view. From the plaza, one enters a large, indoor ‘market place’, the heart of the building. At entrance level, a bookshop, a café and a real estate agent – and the cash desk – is placed.

The rest of the bank’s area is spread at a series of terraces with open connections to the plaza – and to each other. The terraces are connected by spacious staircases that provide good opportunities for the important informal meeting. With its central position, the building will become a natural meeting point for clients, staff and visitors. In relation to the surrounding city, a delicate balance has been achieved – a beautiful, contemporary and well functioning building that integrates respectfully in the overall picture.

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Middelfart Savings Bank, image courtesy of 3XN architects

+ Sustainable case study

Thermoactive Hydronic Elements

In addition to developing a comprehensive and holistic sustainable strategy for each project, the Research & Development department at 3XN scans the marketplace and actively implements latest technologies and sustainable innovations into our projects. Developed through the Danish Technical University, and now a part of the curriculum, the implementation of the latest technologies in energy efficient heating and cooling of buildings for the headquarters of Middelfart Savings Bank has been viewed as groundbreaking. The method utilizes the mass and ability of concrete to adjust the room temperature by absorbing and releasing heat. The method is based upon pre-fabricated concrete decks with embedded plastic pipes.

Large Energy Savings

With these thermoactive concrete elements it is possible to reduce the energy consumption for heating by 30 percent and the energy consumption for cooling and mechanical ventilation by up to 85 percent; in total, an energy saving of 30-50 percent. This is due to the fact that the system allows for better use of alternative supply sources, i.e. the plant can operate as a lowtemperature floor heating system during winter, based upon heat-driven heat pumps, and during summer, the cool night air, soil tubes, ground water or sea water can be used for cooling.

The system is partly self-regulating as water for heating and/or cooling is circulated with a temperature only a few degrees from the desired room temperature, and this is the key to the large energy savings. In addition to energy savings the capital costs were lower due to the reduced needs for cooling and heating.

+ Project credits / data

Architect: 3XN
Engineer: COWI
Landscape Architect: Schønherr
Address: Havnegade 21, Middelfart, Denmark
Client: Trekantens Ejendomsselskab A/S
Award: 1. prize in invited competition 2005
Completion: 2010
Size: 5.000 m2
Photo: Adam Mørk
Prize: MIPIM

+ All images courtesy of 3XN architects

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Category: Architecture, Office, Selected