Architect: João Marques Franco
Photography: Leading audiovisual
Design team: Brands Franco Arquitectos
Engineering studies: Carlos silva
General construction company: Carlos José Fernandes
Customer: Northwest Agricultural Credit Bank
The bank is located on the edge of an urban transition. On the one hand the historic center of Paredes de Coura, a beautiful village in the northwestern part of Portugal, on the other a range of buildings from the 80s and 90s, tragic decades for the Portuguese urban landscape because the need for an architect was optional and, in many cases, undesirable.
How can you help close this gap? Will you try to stand out? Should this new building disappear? Maybe both.
The bank wanted a sign of transparency, an invitation to enter, for this purpose the whole ground floor is made of glass, you can see everything from the square, in such a small community which is particularly important, if you want to talk to your manager account, all you have to do is come by and say hello. On the other end, a bank should feel secure, like a vault, so that the first level is solid and windowless, raised, out of reach.
The curve tries to sow some kind of connection between the two cities, and it’s painted white. What else can you choose if you are between small and colorful 19th century architecture and the ‘build whatever you want in faux marble’ craze of the ’90s?
It may be an excuse or a lack of courage. Maybe it’s my inability to pick a color. That suits me.
Or maybe I wanted the building to stand out after all. Can an all-white building do this?