The striking Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank in Udine, Italy may feature a tilting design reminiscent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but you can be certain that Morphosis Architects didn't channel the Pisa Tower's architect. Normally when architects employ solar passive design, they build shading devices into the structure to protect the south-facing windows - but not Morphosis. For the Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank, they tilted the entire building 14 degrees to the south so that the upper floors shade the lower floors. In addition to the dramatic tilt, the office features many energy-efficient building strategies that contribute to a happy and healthy working space.
The Hypo Bank headquarters consists of two wings built into the earth at the base of the tower, which shoots up seven stories at a dramatic tilt. The structure is angled 14 degrees to the south, which allowing each floor to shade the floor beneath it during hot summer days. Naturally, a great deal of engineering accompanied the building’s planning to make the design economical and workable. The tower features an east-west orientation with a narrow 14 meter-wide floor plan to allow daylight to reach every part of the office space.
The narrow floor plan features operable windows that encourage natural ventilation by allowing fresh air to flow through the spaces and up through the large central atria. Stairs and bridges criss-cross through this large open space, connecting the occupants together. The occupant’s health, happiness, and productivity were also key design criteria, and as such, each office space offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. The building plan optimizes the use of space while encouraging movement and activity in the employees.