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World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

June 05, 2014 13:26 IST

Image: Hong Kong's central financial district's (L-R) Bank of China Tower, Cheung Kong Centre, HSBC headquarters, Standard Chartered Bank and Legislative Council (front L) are pictured lighted up.
Photographs: Tyrone Siu/Reuters Rediff Businsess Desk

'It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning,' said Henry Ford ages ago.

One may or may not agree with what Ford said, but it is extremely important for investors to judge a bank's strength before putting their money into it.

What draws people to a bank? Apart from its annual results, the appearance or how a bank looks from outside also goes a long way in influencing an investor’s decision.

Building data company Emporis of Hamburg, Germany, recently compiled 12 of the most ‘spectacular’ buildings in the banking industry.

We present here some of the world’s most beautiful bank buildings. Read on.

1. Bank of China Tower

Architects: IM Pei & Partners; Shermann Kung & Associates Architects Limited.

This tower houses the headquarters of the Bank of China Hong Kong.

The building was constructed over a period of four years and four months commencing in April 1985.

Completed for occupancy in August 1989, the building was opened in May 1990, towering 70 floors above the ground floor level and offering parking in four basement levels.

The shape of a bamboo stalk reportedly served as inspiration for the design.

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World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

Image: European Investment Bank.
Photographs: Capun/Wikimedia Commons

2. European Investment Bank (Luxembourg)

Architect: Ingenhoven Architects.

The building is the headquarters of the European Investment Bank.

The strictest environmental norms have been observed while constructing the building.

The structure has obtained Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method environmental certification.

The V-shaped glass offices are linked with one another by atriums and winter gardens.

. . .

World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

Image: Isbank Tower.
Photographs: Capun/Wikimedia Commons

3. Isbank Tower (Istanbul, Turkey)

Architects: Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; Tekeli & Sisa.

The tower uses 'intelligent skyscraper' technologies.

Located close to '4 Levent' subway station.

Owned and built by Türkiye Is Bankasi (Turkish Commerce Bank).

181 metres in height, facade of the building resemble Trump Tower in New York, which was designed by the same architect firm, Swanke Hayden Connell Architects.

. . .


World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

Image: Islamic Development Bank.
Photographs: Courtesy,

4. Islamic Development Bank (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

Architect: Nikken Sekkei Ltd.

The two towers of the Islamic Development Bank Headquarters in Jeddah are connected by a roof.

The building, which is over 100 metres tall, has narrow window slits in the outer walls.

The slits block the sun rays while the central patios are covered in glass in order to let in natural light.

. . .

World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

Image: Macquarie Bank Centre (Sydney).
Photographs: Courtesy,

5. Macquarie Bank Centre (Sydney)

Architect: Fitzpatrick and Partners.

This 11-story highrise building’s white lattice structure resembles a net around a glass cube.

The external steel frame serves as a structural grid, and eliminates the need for internal columns.

A total of 1,000 tonnes of steel girder were used for construction of the building.

. . .

World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

Image: National Bank of Dubai.
Photographs: Courtesy,

6. National Bank of Dubai (Dubai, UAE)

Architects: Norr Group Consultants Int. Ltd.; Carlos Ott Architect.

The building, 124-metre high is shaped like a sail.

It houses the Emirates National Bank of Dubai.

The building was inaugurated in 1998.

. . .


World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

Image: ING House.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

7. ING House (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Architect: Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten.

Built of aluminum and glass, ING House is constructed like a table on sixteen steel legs.

They stand on pins in large concrete blocks in the ground.

The floors are built on top of this table.

ING House is nicknamed shoe and dustbuster because of its unusual structure.

The building is headquarters to the global financial house ING Group.

. . .

World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

Image: One Churchill Place.
Photographs: Courtesy,

8. One Churchill Place (London)

Architect: HOK International Ltd.

One Churchill Place in London is headquarters to Barclays Bank, the third-largest bank in the UK.

It is the first tower in the United Kingdom to have been built following the 9/11 attacks with redesigns to increase strength.

It features such security measures as extra cores to withstand an aircraft strike or additional air conditioning intakes on the roof to make it resistant to chemical weapons.

The building was planned to be 50 stories in height, but scaled down to 32 for security reasons.

It is 156 metres tall.

. . .

World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

Image: Saxo Bank International HQ.
Photographs: Courtesy,

9. Saxo Bank International HQ (Hellerup, Denmark)

Architect: 3XN Architects.

The Saxo Bank International Headquarters is home to the Danish online investment bank Saxo Bank, formerly Midas Bank.

The slanting and irregularly ordered blocks of colour on the facade look like the stripes of a zebra.

The security here is maximum, with over 100 cameras, multiple alarm systems and guards patrolling the premises at all times.

. . .

World's 10 most beautiful bank buildings

Image: Scotia Plaza.
Photographs: Courtesy,

10. Scotia Plaza (Toronto, Canada)

Architect: WZMH Architects.

Scotia Plaza is currently Toronto's second-tallest multi-story building after First Canadian Place.

It has a 130-foot atrium and has 2,000,000-square foot of office space.

The building is headquarters to Scotiabank.