BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

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BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners have completed two modular headquarters for Moroccan bank BMCE in Rabat and Casablanca, Morocco.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

The design comprises a concrete frame enclosed by glazed panels, covered by screens made of cut and curved sheet steel.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

The double-height entrance hall of each building features a bank of seating connected to the domed roof by a swooping ribbon of concrete.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

Offices and meeting rooms are arranged on two floors in the remainder of the building.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

Each branch is organised on a modular grid, to be repeated and adapted according to location.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

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BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

Photographs are by Nigel Young, courtesy Foster + Partners.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

Here are some more details from Foster + Partners:


Foster + Partners completes first project in Africa with BMCE branches in Morocco

The first regional headquarters branches for Moroccan bank, BMCE (Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur) have opened in Rabat and Casablanca, with a further branch in Fez due to complete shortly – they are the first buildings by Foster + Partners to be completed in Africa.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

The banks’ contemporary interior is wrapped by a traditional, energy efficient envelope and their design is based on a modular system, which utilises local materials and craftsmanship to create a striking new emblem for BMCE.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

The design follows a ‘kit-of-parts’ approach, with variations in colour and scale according to the bank’s location. Each building comprises a concrete frame, with an entrance colonnade and a series of bays repeated on a modular grid.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

The bays are enclosed by glazed panels and 200mm-deep screens, which provide shade and security.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

The screens are cut from sheets of stainless steel – a special low-iron mixture that does not heat up in the sun – which are curved to create a geometric design, based on traditional Islamic patterns.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

The branches are designed to be highly energy efficient and use locally-sourced materials, such as black granite and grey limestone.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

All BMCE flagship branches feature an ‘earth tube’, an electricity-free cooling system: fresh air is drawn into an empty pipe that encircles the building underground, where it is naturally cooled by the earth and released into the branch.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

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The dome, a recurrent element in each bank, is a reference to the design of a number of new schools in Morocco, which have received philanthropic support from BMCE Bank Foundation.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

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The interior of the dome is rendered in tadelakt, a local plaster technique, while the exterior is clad in zellige, traditional ceramic tiles.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

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The dome form sweeps down into the banking hall to create a sculptural curved bench.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

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Lord Foster commented:

“The BMCE flagship branches – our first completed buildings in Africa – reinterpret elements of traditional Moroccan architecture, combining these with a contemporary interior that reflects the Bank's progressive approach to its customers.

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

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This blend of ancient principles and modern technology is also reflected in an energy efficient design. The result is a series of buildings that are sustainable and each one, uniquely, of its place.”

BMCE headquarters by Foster + Partners

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BMCE Bank Branches
Morocco 2007 – 2011
Foster + Partners Team: Norman Foster, David Nelson, Stefan Behling, Michael Jones, Kate Murphy, Ingrid Solken, Tommaso Franchi, Charles Di Piazza, Lara Thrasher, Giuseppe Giacoppo, Rana Mezher, Susana Sousa, Benedicte Artault, Judith Kernt, Ben Cowd
Client: BMCE Bank (Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur)
Collaborating Architects: Amine Mekouar, Karim Rouissi-Empreinte d’Architecte
Main Contractor: TGCC
Cost/Project Managers: Cap Advise
Structural Engineers: Buro Happold, Ateba
Mechanical Engineers: Buro Happold
Landscape Architect: Michel Desvigne
Lighting Consultant: George Sexton Associates


See also:

.

Zayed National Museum
by Foster + Partners
Masdar Institute campus
by Foster + Partners
Sperone Westwater gallery
by Foster + Partners
  • http://www.cadblockparty.com CadBlockParty

    The ribbon of concrete super-seat is sooo cool!
    Great idea..

  • http://www.francoisbeydoun.com François Beydoun

    It's a successful blend of traditional style by using the dome and the
    Moucharabieh for the windows and a contemporary design!

    François Beydoun

  • onurcantepe

    what makes norman foster so special is that the simplicity of his pallet. a semi transparent pattern that comprising the facade and a flowing form of concrete creates a magnificent atmosphere. pure beauty

  • Aaron

    It's a nice building, although I find the dome a little depressing, if beautiful. An architectural form normally associated with a heavenly or transcendent gaze, here it is reduced to seating element in a bank lobby. I suppose its illuminating regarding the moral centre of contemporary society (ie money).

  • yuc

    very nice when considered simply from the point of view of form, aesthetics, traditional clichés and materials… But I find the treatment of space, form and surfaces as making a mosque a bit unnerving.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Romashov.Anton Anton Romashov

    Foster is the men!!! totally respect every piece of his work

  • http://www.brgstudio.com nulla

    I really like the classical approach to the exterior of the building: simple and classical, yet modern and effective. I do not fully understand why the dome has to become a bench, it seems like they had to add an organic insertion into a too much classical box, so to make it look "cool". It was already "cool" more than enough, in my opinion… all in all another great work by Foster, nothing else to say.

  • Andy

    I agree, this is quite restrained, yet layered. Satisfying space.

  • grave

    Edward Durrell Stone, back from the grave! Could have mistaken this for one of his embassies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gunnara Gunnar Ágústsson

    Tradition becomes contemporary – in a lovely way! Well done Foster and +
    Althought that flat roof is bugging me, maybe the "dome" should be bigger or multiple?