All – Terrain Bank: Circulation as the Medium of Exchange

Core Architecture Studio 2

Spring 2013

Lindy Roy, critic

Currency is circulation as a medium of exchange. Is the Social Network Bank really a radically new and utterly contemporary phenomenon of the Social Media Age? Or can it be tracked back to the Stone Age before permanent settlement– before even architecture itself? In a time when resources critical for survival were set – and kept – in motion across vast terrains, landscape itself was understood and valued as the essential resource. Landscape as the medium of exchange produced altruism by assuring mutual survival. If the contemporary bank is a ‘dynamic system’ in a state of ‘permanent redefinition’ what does this mean for the architecture of the bank? The studio imagined the great recession as another crucial moment in the redefinition of the banking industry’s image and practices. Our three-sided site at the prow of an irregular city block – a land parcel often zoned as urban park challenged us to take on the Skyscraper, the default typology of the conventional bank and the urban park, and to invent a new terrain for banking.

Lucas Lind A/B/C
Michelle Tse D
Qiuli Qu E