The new premises of the Sächsische Aufbaubank – Förderbank – (SAB) at Gerberstraße 5 in Leipzig were opened on 1 July 2021 with initially around 200 members of staff gradually relocating. The facility, designed by the London-based architectural practice ACME, is an eye-catcher thanks to its forum, a publicly accessible forecourt with 159 columns forming.
▼项目鸟瞰，aerial view © Strohhut Pictures
大楼由两部分组成：“私用”建筑和“公共”广场——柱子森林。这座L形的可持续建筑分为底部一层和上部四层，可容纳多达500个工作场所。一层包括员工餐厅、六个顾客服务室、一个礼堂和一个会议区。此外，这里还展出了前Robotron大楼的三幅墙面浮雕，它们是年轻艺术家Arno Rink、Frank Ruddigkeit和Klaus Schwabe在1969年创作的委托作品，这些莱比锡画派先锋的大画幅作反映了“人造卫星年代”和“东方现代主义”的时代精神。SAB将在新建筑中复原和展出文物视为对遗产的承诺，也是对莱比锡市及其生动艺术场景的致意。银行办公楼层还设有智库和InnoLab办公空间，旨在提供最大程度的灵活性，以便为办公空间的未来发展做好准备。开放式楼梯和面向广场的不同阳台呈现出丰富的视角，促进员工之间的交流。
▼墙面浮雕，the wall relief
The ensemble consists of two parts: the “private” building and the “public” forum – the forest of columns. The L-shaped, sustainable building with a ground floor and four upper floors is designed for up to 500 workplaces. The ground floor contains the staff restaurant, six customer service rooms, an auditorium, and a conference area. In addition, three listed wall reliefs from the former Robotron building, which previously occupied this location, are exhibited there. The reliefs were created as commissioned works in 1969 by the then young artists Arno Rink, Frank Ruddigkeit, and Klaus Schwabe. The large-format works by these pioneers of the Leipzig School reflect the euphoric zeitgeist of the “Sputnik decade” and “Eastern Modernism”. The SAB sees the recovery, restoration, and public presentation of the pieces in its new building as a commitment to the heritage of the site and as a gesture of greeting to the city of Leipzig and its vivid arts scene. The bank’s office floors, which house, among other things, the thinktank and workspace called InnoLab, are designed to offer the greatest possible flexibility in order to be prepared for future developments in the working world. Open staircases and different balconies facing the forum reveal a variety of perspectives and promote communication amongst the staff.
▼柱子森林与建筑实体，the forest of columns and the building entity © Strohhut Pictures
▼透过柱子森林望向周边街区，view to the neighborhoods through the forest of columns © Strohhut Pictures
广场是SAB大楼前的柱子森林，共有159根柱子，每根高约20米。还有92根柱子与建筑结合，其中68根是独立的，另外24根穿过建筑。作为有益的遮阳措施，它们具有积极的遮阳作用，为立面增添阴影。柱身由混凝土制成，直径为0.4至1.1米。柱顶是蘑菇伞形的玻璃纤维结构，直径为2.5至5米。室外景观由Vogt Landschaftsarchitektur设计，由Simons & Hinze Landschaftsarchitekten实施。随着绿岛和水景的兴起，景观规划师借鉴了Löhrs花园，这座花园是德国最早的资产阶级景观花园之一，大约1777年就坐落在此地。
The forum is a forest of columns in front of the SAB building with 159 columns, each of them approx. 20 metres high; integrated in the building itself, there are a further 92 columns, 68 of which are free-standing and 24 of which penetrate the building. As constructive sun protection, they contribute shade to the façade. The columns are made of spun concrete and have a diameter of 0.4 to 1.1 metres. They are topped with mushroom-shaped capitals made of glass fibre fabric and measure 2.5 to 5 metres in diameter. The outdoor components were designed by Vogt Landschaftsarchitektur; the execution was planned by Simons & Hinze Landschaftsarchitekten. With the clearly emerging green islands and the water feature, the landscape planners refer to Löhrs Garten, one of Germany’s first bourgeois landscaped parks, which was located on this site around 1777.
▼蘑菇伞形的柱子顶部，top of the mushroom-shaped columns © Strohhut Pictures
▼柱子森林一角，corner of the column forest © Strohhut Pictures
▼由混凝土柱身仰视顶部，view up to the top from the concrete columns © Strohhut Pictures
▼柱子与建筑结合 © Strohhut Pictures
the columns are integrated in the building
In January 2012, the SAB acquired the site at Gerberstraße 3-5 in Leipzig. In August 2013, the demolition of the former Robotron building situated on the property was completed. Prior to this, the wall reliefs by artists of the Leipzig School, which are listed as historic monuments, were salvaged. In October 2013, the London-based architectural practice ACME emerged as the winner of the architectural competition with more than 120 entries. In December 2016, the first preparatory work commenced. On 1 July 2021, the new location of the Sächsische Aufbaubank, which cost EUR 164.8 million, was opened as the first members of staff moved in, providing the city of Leipzig with another attraction.
▼柱子森林为办公楼遮阳 © Strohhut Pictures
the forest of columns shade the office building
Dr Katrin Leonhardt, Chairwoman of the Board of SAB, comments: “With the SAB Forum, we have not only erected an office building, but, with this urban ensemble, we are also contributing to neighbourhood development and creating a public space for the city of Leipzig. Through events, the wall reliefs of pioneers of the Leipzig School inside the building as well as the column forest, which are both publicly accessible, we want to open ourselves up to the people of Leipzig and their guests. The location of the new SAB headquarters in Leipzig and within the metropolitan region of Central Germany supports the intended expansion of the bank’s orientation towards customers and partners.”
▼办公楼夜景，the office building by night © Strohhut Pictures
The SAB Forum in Leipzig contains the classic components of a bank building but gives its traditional typology a fresh look. The London-based architectural practice ACME designed a “new form, tailor-made for the SAB, the place and the function of a development bank in the 21st century.” It is not a pedestal or a porticos that characterises the image, but a “softer boundary between inside and outside, between form and space. Thus, the identity of SAB is not represented through the shape of its building, but through the shape of the open urban space created by the building.”
▼公共庭院夜景，the public courtyard by night © Strohhut Pictures
Prof. Michael Cesarz, lecturer at the University of Leipzig and chairman of the jury and the project advisory board for the new SAB building in Leipzig, comments: “The new SAB ensemble represents an organic architectural style in the heart of Leipzig. What is special is the symbiosis between the building’s forecourt and the building itself. This effect is increased by uniform flooring from the footpath into the forum. Transparency and permeability are also enhanced by the fact that the two wings of the building are separated from each other on the lower floors, thus opening up a path across the square and not closing it off, as is often the case. The fact that this public square can be crossed by the general public adds another footpath connection between the neighbourhood behind the building and main railway station as well as the city centre.”
▼办公空间，workspace © Strohhut Pictures
▼休息区，rest area © Strohhut Pictures
▼茶水间，pantry © Strohhut Pictures
▼楼梯间，staircase © （上）Strohhut Pictures, （下）Detlef Frost
Univ.-Prof. Philipp Oswalt, lecturer at the University of Kassel, former director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and member of the project advisory board for the SAB building, says: “This architecturally outstanding ensemble is characterised by its transparent and flexible use. In addition to urban planning aspects, the building’s interior is striking as well. With the InnoLab creative space and the concept of the New Working Worlds as classic office workspace and a variety of zones for different uses, new standards are set for the bank.”
▼区位图，location © ACME
▼一层平面图，1F plan © ACME
▼二层平面图，2F plan © ACME
▼三层平面图，3F plan © ACME
▼四层平面图，4F plan © ACME