Bank to Community Hub

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Berlin, August 3: The design of the PSD Bank located in Berlin-Friedenau aims to transform the historic post office building into a neighborhood center that goes beyond traditional banking services.
The goal is to create a space that is generous, welcoming, and inclusive, catering to the needs of the community.
In addition to providing banking services such as ATMs, consulting rooms, and help desks, the bank incorporates unexpected features for a financial institution.

These include a café, a vibrant community living room, an interior garden, exhibition spaces, and public meeting rooms.
By offering these amenities, the bank seeks to encourage community engagement and interaction.
The social aspect of the design is centered around creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, resembling a living room.
The front area of the bank houses a café, which serves as a welcoming space for people to relax and feel at home.
The design specifically targets groups like seniors, who may find modern digital banking impersonal and alienating, by providing a more personal and inclusive experience.
Formally, the design introduces new architectural elements that are referred to as “boxes inside boxes.” These structures are placed within the restored banking hall and establish a dialogue between the old and the new.

Ester Bruzkus and Peter Greenberg, photo by Debora Mittelstaedt
From left to right: Ester Bruzkus and Peter Greenberg, photo by Debora Mittelstaedt.

This approach adds a contemporary touch while respecting the historical context of the building.
Materially, the design combines fresh new materials with historic ones.
Warm woods, shiny metals, pickled woods, and terrazzo with recycled content are mixed with original stone flooring, dark wood columns, and historically accurate colors.
This blending of materials creates a harmonious balance between the past and the present.
The project emphasizes its dedication to the local community by featuring materials, furniture, and craftsmanship from local and German manufacturers and suppliers.
Furthermore, a focus on reusing and recycling is evident throughout the design, with the restoration of the historic shell and the incorporation of salvaged elements such as flooring, wood panels, and plaster ceiling.
While the project involves the renovation of a historic building, it also strives to feel new, fresh, contemporary, and vibrant.
The integration of new materials alongside the old creates a dynamic and lively environment that is connected to the active life of the community.
The bank aims to serve as a neighborhood community center where people of all ages can feel welcomed and engaged.

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