The design for the new TBC Forum - located in Tbilisi, Georgia - proposes a transition from the traditional closed and introverted working model previously favoured in the banking industry, toward a flexible, open and responsive system.
The new TBC Forum proposes a cultural hub that will act as a catalyst for the development of a new area of the city, promoting socio-economic development through the creation of a financial knowledge centre and innovation platform.
Destination and Journey
The location of the new headquarters acts as a key driver for the design. Within the natural setting of the Lisi Lake resort, the TBC Forum merges work, culture and nature and becomes an integrated part of a green journey from the Georgian capital through the local landscape and vineyards.
Strategically placed on the surrounding hills outside of the city centre, the TBC Forum creates a new destination similar to the historic highland village of Shatili. This stone and mortar village of clustered towers presents a captivating image of traditional Georgian architecture, where the surrounding landscape is embraced by means of large balconies and terraces. The design for the TBC Forum draws inspiration from this local example in which the unification of nature and architecture plays a central role.
Programme and Public Space
Financial institutions are increasingly embracing innovative and creative strategies in order to improve quality and performance. The design for the TBC Forum therefore requires a highly considered combination of programme within an open, flexible, interactive and connected organisation.
The esplanade forms the backbone of new TBC Forum, connecting all programmes within one public realm. This realm consists of several flexible outdoor spaces for the hosting of social events and leisure activities, while simultaneously serving to connect the buildings with the surrounding landscape.
The roofscapes, inspired by the Caucasian natural landscapes at different altitudes, form the fifth facade of the TBC Forum and provide a vertical cluster of landscapes which become part of the Lisi green valley and the Georgian panorama.
The TBC Forum is defined by three main programmes. These programmes form three clusters that interact around the public esplanade:
1. TBC HQ: the new Headquarters of TBC Bank.
2. The Innovation Lab: a new centre for the research and generation of new ideas.
3. The Culture Hub: combines galleries, restaurants, a children’s daycare facility and co-working spaces, thereby enabling interaction between different fields of interest.
Interactive Workspaces - Flexibility and Mobility
UNStudio has carried out extensive research into the design of optimal work environments and the positive impact these can have on the health, wellbeing, creativity and therefore, productivity. Within the design, both physical vitality and psychological wellbeing are understood to be synonymous, while the creation of community is considered fundamental to the encouragement of communication, interaction, knowledge exchange and creativity. In the design of the TBC Forum, environmental concerns are not merely related to the energy performance of the building, but to social sustainability and the performance of its users.
Different tasks, such as learning, socializing, collaborating and concentrating require different kinds of spaces and programmes. Embracing mobility as a tool to enable innovation and adopting a flexible approach to workplace design means providing diversity through seated work areas, standing desks and open lounge areas throughout the office spaces. Café tables, tribunes, sharing desks, break out spaces, stairs and even corridors can be considered a ‘work journey’ throughout the building.
Inspiring Movement - Social Sustainability
The internal circulation of the TBC Forum forms an integrated and continuous extension to the interactive and social public realm. Using active design and social sustainability as a guiding principle, the bank is organised into departmental clusters which are connected by double and triple height social nodes that host communal programmes. These semi-public spaces create vertical sequences within the building for flexible and interactive socialization and connection. Through the use of staircases and active circulation as an integral part of the work environment, the TBC Forum creates a continuous three dimensional workflow.
UNStudio: Ben van Berkel with Frans van Vuure, Roman Kristesiashvili, Alex Kalachev, Filippo Lodi, Melinda Matuz, Raul Forsoni, Pere Maicas, Franck Fdida, Michele de Simone, Caterina Micucci , Matthew Harrison, Assaf Yizzak Cooremans, Nanang Santoso, Harlen Miller, Megan Hurford, Johanna Mencia, Fernando Herrera, Attilio Ranieri, Courtney Jones, Jae Geun Ahn, Elizabeth White, Ksymena Borczynska, Gys le Roux, Jung Jae Suh
Structural Advisor: Cubicon
MEP Advisor: EE-Georgia
Landscape designer: Loos van Vliet
Lighting Designer: Lighting Design Collective
Facade Consultant: Priedemann
Road and Circulation Advisor: Gzajvaredini XXI
Visualizations: Luxigon, Aand3