(1991) International Bank of Yemen

client : Bank of Yemen
typology : Commercial
services : Architecture
where : Sanaa, Yemen

Retrospective 1991-2000 video: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPyTSojDdNX/

This is a schematic design for the 220,000 sqm headquarters of the International Bank of Yemen in Sana'a. It is located on a main street of the city. The bank occupies the first basement, ground and mezzanine levels for its main branch; 8 upper floors including the penthouse for large meetings, events, and other activities. The remaining eight floors are prime office premises for rent.

The architectural concept was to create a modern building with a strong visual form of traditional local style. Architecture in Yemen is identified by the play of volumes and the multiplicity of their intersections. Especially in Sana'a, one of the characteristics is to display a contrast between regular and irregular openings over blank and empty wall surfaces. This building is a pure interpretation of this style. Volumes step in and out, rise one above the other, and intersect with scattered windows in some elevations. Some volumes are fully glazed, some are solid cladding. The top of the building is a multiplicity of ends, every one of them for a specific volume no matter how high it is. They are all crowned with a traditional ornamental style. The entrance is a grand arch; simple, bold, and defining.