Banks aren’t often known for their architecture these days, but the Middlefart Savings Bank is making a name for itself in the small Danish harbor town. The grand roof is covered in 83 prism-like skylights, which drawn an abundance of natural light into the bank and courtyard below. Heating and cooling for the bank’s interior is provided through a radiant floor system and technology developed at the Danish Technical University. This energy-efficient bank, designed by 3XN, is adding up to be more than just a place to keep your money.

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Energy efficiency was a main factor in the design, and with the inclusion of a radiant heating and cooling system, the bank is able to cut energy use by 30-50% compared to traditional systems. Plastic tubes are embedded in the prefabricated concrete flooring. During the winter, water is heated and circulated through the floor and the room temperature can be controlled very precisely. For cooling in the summer, water is cooled by driving it into the ground, and even cooler seawater can be used and then run through the pipes.

The Middelfart Savings Bank is located near the harbor, and the grand facade was due in part to a demand for high architectural quality. Inside the main lobby of the bank is a cash desk as well as a cafe, bookstore, a real estate office as well as a public meeting area. Artist, Olafur Eliasson, was commissioned to create an installation for the plaza, which consists of 6 “shooting star” kaleidoscopes inspired by the triangular geometry of the building.


Photo credits: Photographer Adam Mørk