Central Bank of Bahamas organised a design competition for its new building..

We barely notice how finance firms/banks use architecture to showcase their prestige or their strength. Earlier most banks had this imposing design which was more like a fort  trying to tell people that no one can break into the fort and steal your money. Overtime, as confidence in banks increased, bank buildings have followed a more open sort of architecture with lots of glass etc being used. From the times when it was imposing to get into a bank, to today’s times when banks are welcoming people is quite something.

However, in case of central banks these things are unlikely to change. As the guardian of monetary stability, they have to show their imposing self voa their buildings as well.

Thus, it was interesting to come across this April 2018 competition for design of new building of Central Bank of Bahamas. The central bank got several entries and finally the committee has chosen one design named as Sand Dollar:

Sand Dollar

To describe the winning submission, I borrow from the judge’s comments.

“The project, described as a sculptural object by its Architect, would represent an iconic image for the new Central Bank.” “Boldness and audacity in terms of the design, and a deep thoughtfulness about the urban environment and the public spaces as well.”

A modern architecture but again an Imposing design. We are used to seeing central banks having open competition for currency designs etc. It is interesting to see a competition for its building design as well.

It will be useful to see the presentations of the architects and see whether they spoke about how and whether architecture philosophy differs for central banks.

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