Nord/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank, Hannover {Federal Reserve Bank}

Construction, production and installation of the executive chairman’s office, sections of the hallways

Completion 2001


“Buildings speak volumes outwardly,” according to architect Stefan Behnisch. “They embody a company’s very image...” The new building for the Nord/LB bank in Hanover is a substantial tribute to this claim. The design has architectural substance, exuding a dignity which will surely stand the test of time. The quality of the interior construction also contributes to realising the concept of camouflaging all functional areas and technical features, thus putting people back into the centre of attention. In the executive offices, all functions and equipment indispensable to such important premises are concealed behind seemingly wooden walls: rest room, clothes closet, bookshelves, etc. Yet the outward appearance is of distinctly homogeneous and balanced design, for example the cabinet walls being concealed with long, horizontal veneer. The veneer continues over the inevitable joints between movable and fixed components of the cabinet wall without any height offset. The precise selection of veneer was extremely important here, and also characteristic of the hallways. The executive chairman’s office gave Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau the opportunity to demonstrate true design competence. As in the other areas, a main focus was on invisibly integrating the technology and functions into furniture and spatial arrangements. The equipment container is thus a closed block. At the push of a button, the block opens and a laptop emerges. A white cabinet wall meanwhile extends along one of the long walls. Top and bottom seams, each 20 centimetres wide, lend it a suspended impression. Its front conceals an escape door, the rest room area, a safe, the clothes closet and electrically extendable side cabinet drawers. From the chairman of the board to the board members to the salaried employees – all benefit from spaces of substance, both inside and out.

Text: Rainer Baginski
Photo: Bernadette Grimmenstein