When start up Alinma Bank approached us back in 2006 to be involved in the embryonic stages of their development it was both an honour and a privilege. Alinma mission’s was to provide total Shariah-compliant financial solutions to sustainably grow and serve our community, and they were keen that this should be reflected in the design of their branded environments.
The brief was to create an iconic landmark for Saudi’s largest start up bank, that would include a blueprint for the new standalone branches. So the design came to life inspired by the geometry of Islamic architecture and the brand mark, the layout includes an innovative 24/7 street that acts as a social atrium space as well an atm lobby. The skin of the box is an intelligent modular geometric cladding system that is illuminated during the evening.
The project was nominated for a global design award, the first standalone branch was opened in 2010 with 46 branches currently built across the Kingdom.
‘We touched down at King Khalid airport Riyadh several weeks ago early Sunday morning and stepped out into the eastern light. Soft hues of dusty yellows and browns of this sprawling city nestled in the desert sands touched by the rising sun. On the airport road as we ducked under a twisting flyover, my partner Nabil smiled and pointed ahead in the distance. And there it was Alinma Bank’s flagship standalone branch, like a glowing rubix cube on the side of the road. Just as it was imagined back in 2006.
Now architecture is a long hard road, a process full of potholes and bumps, but moments like that make it worthwhile. I stopped to reminisce over all the people who had been involved, I thought of my partner Kenan, Nedzad in the studio, the talents of Ben and the guys at Landor, the unswerving passion of Abdul Hameed at Alinma and wished they could enjoy that early morning moment with me.’
Jacob Low – Partner Jan 2011
FACTS AND FIGURES