Bremer Landesbank Headquarters
Bremen, Germany 2011–2016
Client: Bremer Landesbank UNESCO World Heritage Site Grand Prix, Fritz-Höger-Preis 2017
The commission for the headquarters of the Bremer Landesbank was won in a limited competition organised by the city and the client. The building is located on the cathedral square in the medieval core of the city, adjacent to the famous renaissance town hall, and facing the Romanesque cathedral. The headquarters provides offices and facilities for the Bank’s five hundred staff, as well as a banking hall for its customers on the corner of the square.
The bank has stood on this site since building its first offices in the late nineteenth century, and the stone façades of the original building are preserved on the northern half of the site. The new façades of the building, with their complex and dark brick surfaces, are intended to give the bank a strong physical presence in the city, a presence that refers to the Hanseatic tradition of both quality and reserve.
The bank’s façades refer to a Northern European tradition of expressive brick construction, examples of which can be seen in Bremen. A dark and hard clinker brick is used to form piers, buttresses and ornamental friezes that dress the building in a thick masonry skin. The elevations have a vertical Gothic character, simultaneously monolithic and delicate. Within the vertical grain of the external wall, expressive brick doorways mark the entrances to the head office and to the bank branch.
The identity of the bank is not only in its façades, but also in its public interiors and the nature of its internal organisation. The new building has a large courtyard at its centre that gives a simple and generous image to its organisation. This new central space is open to the sky and has its floor at pavement level. Acting as a forecourt, this space is semi-public, and works as an extended threshold to the head office entrance. Internal arrangements are very flexible, allowing for the maximum number of individual offices on each floor, with frontage to the external façades or to the courtyard, each with an opening window. The large staff restaurant and the private client reception rooms are located on the top floor, where the staff can enjoy the extraordinary views over the roof of the city.
Adam Caruso was interviewed for OASE Journal's edition on modernity. Emailing with the issue's editors, Tom Avermaete and Hans Teerds, he discusses the nuances of what it means to be 'modern' and how to engage with a cities architectural codes and conventions while adding to its definition of history.
The Bremer Landesbank Headquarters in Bremen has been nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2019.
The Bremer Landesbank headquarters in Bremen is one of 62 projects longlisted for the 2018 RIBA International Prize. The winner will be announced in December 2018.
Bremer Zentrum für Baukultur, Bremen, Germany
12 September 2011
Peter St John will be giving a lecture on the Bremer Landesbank at the Bremer Zentrum für Baukultur.
Caruso St John have won the competition to design the new 23,000sq m building for the Bremer Landesbank head office in the Domshof, Bremen's historic market square.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John, Florian Zierer
Bernd Schmutz (competition, 2011), Pablo Donet (2011-2016)
Klemen Breitfuss, Marco Caviezel, Tenzin Dawa, Marco Kistler, Philipp Knorr, Belinda Langasdalen, Martin Pasztori, Moritz Pürckhauer, Isabel Rüttimann, Lino Saam, Michael Schneider, Astrid Smitham, Florian Summa, Rainer Tscherrig, Steffi Wedde, Norbert Zambelli
STB Döhren-Sabotke-Triebold & Partner
S&I Planung, Taube & Goerz, V&W Planung
BAL Bauplanungs und Steuerungs GmbH
BAL Bauplanungs und Steuerungs GmbH
Ingenieurbüro von Rekowski und Partner mbB
Leonhard Weiss GmbH & Co. KG
Brick façade contractor
Jürgen Janßen GmbH
Courtyard façade and interior fit- out contractor
Lindner Group KG
Grand Prix, Fritz-Höger-Preis
BDA-Architekturpreis Nike – Nike für Fügung
Finalist, DAM Preis für Architektur
Commendation, Deutsche Architekturpreis
Nominated, EU Mies van der Rohe Award
Longlisted, RIBA International Prize