With the construction of the new branch building in Oberriet located in Eastern Switzerland, Raiffeisenbank Oberes Rheintal has shown courage in innovative architecture. The building designed by the architecture office Carlos Martinez Architekten based in Berneck (Switzerland) stands out immediately due to the net-like façade made of fine white concrete.
The bank branch situated on the first floor rests on only two pedestals – the access core and the drive through ATM. The weightless effect is intensified by the extreme projection of the upper floor and the mirroring of the ATM. The façade elements were manufactured by CRE Panel located in Götzis (Austria) using high-strength concrete on the basis of the Dyckerhoff Flowstone White high-performance binder. Along with glass fibers, titanium dioxide was also added to the mixture. Exposed to UV radiation, this white pigment boosts photocatalytic processes that prevent organic impurities from occurring at all or eliminate them. Titanium dioxide has also a positive impact on air pollution control. This is particularly desirable in view of the exhaust gases produced at the drive through ATM.
Swiss bank branch in modern architecture
The open façade has a surface area of 340 m² in total; 59 elements were manufactured, with 47 of them being straight and 12 ones curved. Each of the elements has a weight of approx. 1,000 kg. The precast elements made of textile-reinforced concrete were cast in special silicone formliners made by Reckli located in Herne (Germany), the surface remained smooth. No additional surface protection was applied so as not to reduce the photocatalytic processes. The building project started in 2018 and the bank branch was officially opened in the summer of 2019. In general, Raiffeisenbank regards the architectural design of their buildings as an instrument of communicating their value concepts. The bankers, therefore, largely refrain from standardization and also seek individual solutions when it comes to the construction of their branches.