After four decades in Stockholm’s city center, Swedbank had outgrown its headquarters. It wanted a new building that embraced the working methods and technology associated with banking in the 21st century and reinforced its brand as an innovative financial institution. Saving resources and increasing communication and collaboration, Swedbank brought together more than 2,500 staff members from a collection of environments that totaled 50,000 square meters (538,000 sq ft) into a new, efficiently designed 35,000-square-meter (377,000 sq ft) headquarters in a site that, while more suburban, is easily accessible via mass transit. Located in the Sundbyberg municipality in northern Stockholm, the building is designed to express the bank’s core values: openness, simplicity, and care.
Its design reinforces the new ethos of “one office space, one company” making the bank’s many different departments feel like a cohesive whole. The design features a folded “triple V” structure that breaks up volumes and creates an inviting, democratic environment. Employees are located closer to each other than in a traditional office, which contributes to internal communication, visual contact, and knowledge sharing among departments. Another core principle integrated into the new headquarters is “sustainability drives design and business.” The triple V shape allows for the placement of five atria that bring in daylight and enable views from the offices, and permits the bank to attain its aims for a 50-kilowatt-hour-per-square-meter, half-current standard environmental requirement. In addition, the efficient use of space allows the bank to bring an additional 500 employees to the building, generating even greater return on investment for efficient site design.