Above the rooftops of Dresden

Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden

Deutsche Werkstätten services:
Interior design, planning, project management, interior furnishing

Completion 2009


Now lofted above the rooftops of Dresden, the Private Banking division of the Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden bank relocated to the two top floors of Dresden’s World Trade Center (WTC) in May 2009. The bank’s private VIP customers will soon be welcomed in style on the 16th and 17th floors of the WTC. The Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau GmbH was given the go-ahead to design and realise the interior finishings and was also commissioned to perform all site management duties. The DWH subsidiary Deutsche Werkstätten Lebensraum additionally handled the bulk furniture orders. Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau originally provided the interior work for the main Günzplatz headquarters of the Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden bank in the 1990s.

The appeal of the WTC premises starts with its very floor plan. In this imposing circular monument, the Sparkasse’s new premises glisten as a tower. The entire space was previously used without any internal partitioning to host events – of great advantage for special functions, but not very practical for a customer centre. The requirements of the Ostsächsischen Sparkasse Dresden were clear: they needed a reception area, meeting rooms, a conference room and a lounge area. And they wanted it all in an ambience which would transcend the often clinical atmosphere of a branch bank; a personal ambience which would at the same time exude a sense of conservative discretion and quality.

These requirements were all that was needed to fuel the creativity of DWH’s design department, especially as the interior designers were up against two special challenges. They first decided to use only curved drywall – to play off the roundness of the building’s floor plan. Thus almost all the blueprint lines radiate out from the centre of the circular floor plan. The second challenge was posed by the unique logistics of the WTC itself. Because the upper floors can only be reached by elevator, all the constructional elements and furniture had to be designed to be disassembled in individual sections measuring no longer than 2.50 meters (8.2 feet).

The entrance to the private banking offices is on the 16th floor. The first impression – the reception counter – already hints of brilliant design and woods to come: the DWH design team chose the exotic African bubinga to make this stunning first impression. The special texture to this root veneer-like wood and its warm reddish-brown hue stand in direct contrast to the chaste white walls and the cool grey shades of the carpet and curtains. The surface of the fixtures and the furniture – adorning such visual elements as the doors, desks, sideboards, staircase handrails, wall panelling and the gorgeous built-in shelving – is the connective element drawn through all the rooms. The conference room adjacent the 16th floor reception area is furnished with a table to comfortably seat 12 as well as two sideboards.

Across from the reception area, an open staircase leads to the upper floor. In the formerly completely open space, measuring 162 m2, two curved drywalls were positioned to create three small meeting rooms on the right and a lounge area on the left. The hallway between these rooms offers a view from one glass side to the other and serves as the panoramic line of sight. A settee enlivens the hallway, concealing the cleverly-engineered water pipes and overflow valves. The interior designers also made great use of the vast amount of light allowed by the large glass windows especially in their designs for one special space: Two of the small meeting rooms can be transformed into one large space by means of a semi-automatic adjustable partition situated in front of the glass front so it can darken the room. A ceiling-mounted video projector can then project digital presentations onto the wall.

Text: Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau
Photo: Sven Döring