A miniature city within the historic commercial center of northeastern China, Harbin Bank Headquarters offers a balanced composition of volumes, with four individual building components of varying heights. Located along the major traffic artery of Kangan Road, the building acts as a gateway to the city, marking the route between the airport and the historic downtown.
The complex contains bank offices, a “guest house,” health club, bank hall, conference facilities, and a museum of currency.
A central atrium offers connections between the four buildings on the site and also provides a winter garden space that is crucial given the cold Harbin winters. The atrium also offers a range of amenities, including dining halls, retail outlets, and cafés, making it the major social space for workers in the buildings, and fostering a sense of connectivity and collaboration for the entire company.
The project draws on the cultural and aesthetic sensibilities of the region, with its fluid, curvilinear forms inspired by the meandering path of the nearby Songhua River, and its granite and glass exterior gesturing to the local architecture. The four buildings are also arranged in a way that recalls a lilac blossom, Harbin’s official flower, the footprint of each building a petal opening outward from the central atrium.
Each of the four buildings features a unique façade, with different rhythms of stone banding that call to mind the keys of a piano with their offset pattern. The skin of the buildings is conceived as layered screens of rich, complementary materials, including stone, glass, and wood. Designed with idea of growth and prosperity in mind, the office tower lobby features a two-story wooden “tree” surrounding the core, nodding to the future growth of the company..