A simple functional arrangement divides the rectangular footprint equally between the banking hall and support areas. The modular grid places landscaped pools, with planting in recessed stone rills, around the exterior of the building, inverting the form of the Moroccan riad, with its central courtyard. The branches are designed to be energy efficient, combining modern technology with centuries-old methods of passive climate control. One example is the use of ‘earth-tube’ cooling, in which fresh air is drawn into a pipe that encircles the structure below ground and is chilled naturally before being released into the building’s ventilation system.........more