A conspicuous feature of the left bank of River Daugava, Swedbank office building stands out for its sheer height and sleek silhouette. The impression of upward gravitation comes from the slight narrowing of the house as the number of levels increase, as well as the sloping façade solution, which is visually reminiscent of a sail, and the closing peak. The façade glazing and environment layout elements visually link the building to the surface of water of the River Daugava that way merging it with the surroundings.
Inaugurated on 17 November 2004, Swedbank Headquarters was for the first building during Latvia’s independent era boasting a height of 29 floors (26 floors above ground, 2 underground levels and the ground floor). The total height of the building is 120.5 metres. Also, it was the first time in Latvia when glazed surface of such a large scale was used the façade design. Combined with glazed façade systems, also ceramic panel façade decoration systems have been used. The building lies on 286 piles driven into the ground 27 metres deep, reaching the dolomite stratum, which is approximately seven floors deep under the ground. For the entire height of the building, it is supported by 15 pillars of 85 cm in diameter and also 9 additional pillars of 60 cm in diameter. As is normally the case with high-rise buildings, the area on which the building stands is quite small – at the very foundation is measures at roughly 900 square meters.
Swedbank Headquarters design authors are architects Viktors Valgums and Alvis Zlaugotnis. The architectonic shape of the building was dictated by its location, therefore the silhouette carries the main importance in the building’s design. It is characterized by lightness, dynamism and transparency. The glazed façade solution was made in a way that some angles provide full transparency to the building. Also the shading of glass and the pools fitted in the green area underline the lucidity and lightness. Moreover, the building looks different from different viewpoints – every time you see it as if anew.
In its 26 ground floors above the ground, Swedbank Headquarters houses offices, conference rooms, recreation facilities, public catering and technical premises, sports and health centre SunFit, as well as parking lots with capacity for 400 cars on two floors parallel to Krisjana Valdemara Street. Each floor has 40 to 60 open-office workplaces (depending on the area of the floor).
The functional solution of the floors is based on a layout with a central core in the middle and working space around it. Such a solution affords a view from the inside over Old Riga, the part of Riga on the left bank of Daugava, and the port.
During the dark hours of the day, the building stands out against the backdrop of the left bank of River Daugava with its façade illumination consisting of external lighting and in-house ‘standing’ light composition.
Swedbank Headquarters also houses a collection of Latvian contemporary art created in cooperation with Latvian National Art Museum. The collection showcases authors whose work has long crossed the boundaries of Latvian painting school traditions. Their work represents virtually all the 20th century art directions. Those are paintings, graphics, photographs and sculptures created within the last 20 years. The art collection is continuously being developed, enriched and added to.
Facts about Swedbank Headquarters
- Workplaces: 1100
- Parking lots: 400
- 9 high-speed elevators with the combined carrying capacity of 14,500 kg
- Total area: 29,908 m²
- Car park area: 6,735 m²
- Average floor area: 756 m²
- Highest crane used during construction: 128.5 m
- 14,000 cubic meters of concrete, 13,000 square meters of glass, 500 kilometres of cables, 50 kilometres of pipes were used in construction