UNStudio recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for TBC Forum, a mixed-use development anchored around the new headquarters of TBC Bank, in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. The volumes and facades draw inspiration from the clustered stone towers found in the nearby historic highland village of Shatili, according to the architects.
The Amsterdam-based firm isn't new to building in the Republic of Georgia—in 2011, Ben van Berkel and the UNStudio team designed the new Transfer Terminal and Air Traffic Control Tower for Kutaisi Airport which was completed two years later.
From the project description: "The TBC Forum is defined by three main programmes. These programmes form three clusters that interact around the public esplanade: 1. TBC HQ: the new Headquarters of TBC Bank. 2. The Innovation Lab: a new centre for the research and generation of new ideas. 3. The Culture Hub: combines galleries, restaurants, a children’s daycare facility and co-working spaces, thereby enabling interaction between different fields of interest."
"UNStudio has carried out extensive research into the design of optimal work environments and the positive impact these can have on the health, wellbeing, creativity and therefore, productivity. Within the design, both physical vitality and psychological wellbeing are understood to be synonymous, while the creation of community is considered fundamental to the encouragement of communication, interaction, knowledge exchange and creativity. In the design of the TBC Forum, environmental concerns are not merely related to the energy performance of the building, but to social sustainability and the performance of its users."
"Different tasks, such as learning, socializing, collaborating and concentrating require different kinds of spaces and programmes. Embracing mobility as a tool to enable innovation and adopting a flexible approach to workplace design means providing diversity through seated work areas, standing desks and open lounge areas throughout the office spaces. Café tables, tribunes, sharing desks, break out spaces, stairs and even corridors can be considered a ‘work journey’ throughout the building."
"The internal circulation of the TBC Forum forms an integrated and continuous extension to the interactive and social public realm. Using active design and social sustainability as a guiding principle, the bank is organised into departmental clusters which are connected by double and triple height social nodes that host communal programmes. These semi-public spaces create vertical sequences within the building for flexible and interactive socialization and connection. Through the use of staircases and active circulation as an integral part of the work environment, the TBC Forum creates a continuous three dimensional workflow."
UNStudio: Ben van Berkel with Frans van Vuure, Roman Kristesiashvili, Alex Kalachev, Filippo Lodi, Melinda Matuz, Raul Forsoni, Pere Maicas, Franck Fdida, Michele de Simone, Caterina Micucci , Matthew Harrison, Assaf Yizzak Cooremans, Nanang Santoso, Harlen Miller, Megan Hurford, Johanna Mencia, Fernando Herrera, Attilio Ranieri, Courtney Jones, Jae Geun Ahn, Elizabeth White, Ksymena Borczynska, Gys le Roux, Jung Jae Suh
Structural Advisor: Cubicon
MEP Advisor: EE-Georgia
Landscape designer: Loos van Vliet
Lighting Designer: Lighting Design Collective
Facade Consultant: Priedemann
Road and Circulation Advisor: Gzajvaredini XXI
Visualizations: Luxigon, Aand3
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