Over, under

a new model for bank architecture

Game of Life is a subversive architectural model for the inter-infiltration of banker agendas and public agency. A new bank model can lure the bank and its bankers into the agonistic realm of public space.

[gallery] slides

[gallery] portolfio exerpt

[gallery] physical model


Starting with the cliché spaces of a “park” and a “bank”, Game of Life Bank intensifies the inherent social and spatial contradiction of a forced hybrid in order to subvert banker agendas. The architecture can be described as a multi-story park which builds up from street level, around an elevator core, until it becomes coplanar with the adjacent roof-top. Lying within each of the park’s levels is bank program. The inner world of the bank is a glossy, corporate grid where bankers dwell and 'perform banking', which ranges from writing code, to wining ‘n dining park-goers. From the outside, the bank loses this reading entirely; instead it reads as a piece of public infrastructure.

To lure the bank client into Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall, GOL offers potential benefits to the bank such as the opportunity for observation that a “park” might offer. The new bankers, freed from traditional bank jobs by automation, may leave their gridded interior in order to seduce and befriend the public.

Yet, the bank’s true relationship to the space of assembly is fresh in the collective memory. Public space is the space a banker sees as both threat and opportunity. The architecture aims to be a social interface where bankers and public may engage each other agonistically; where the bank is placed into the realm of public space but never guaranteed the upper hand.

The resulting multi-level stage hosts a game of thirsty capitalists vs. easy victims or the privileged few vs. the critical mass.

GOL is only in true service of the unpredictable, uncontrollable and irreversible consequences of actions taken freely in public space.

Project Team

Jeffrey Montes

designed as a student at Columbia University GSAPP (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation) a part of Core Studio 2 taught by Cristina Goberna & Chao Lun Wang