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The National Microfinance Bank (NMB PLC) is one of the largest commercial banking organisations in Tanzania. Its new headquarters in the business district of Dar es Salaam is an iconic building designed by IPA Architects.
The striking exterior of the NMB building is clad with custom-made, coloured ceramic louvres on all sides. The louvres are not only visually vibrant but also respond to the local climate and save energy by acting as passive shading devices.
A fluid connection between interior and exterior is achieved thanks to large curtain wall facades and a cantilever over the drop-off area at the entrance to the building. Inside, the reception area boasts a 10-metre-high ceiling with a dynamic, angular central atrium that is flooded by natural daylight from a skylight in the roof.
IPA’s design takes advantage of views over the nearby Gymkhana golf course and out towards the ocean. It creates a sense of openness, lightness and transparency through both its materials and its forms. It also signals an inspiring new direction for contemporary African architectural design.
About the project
The balustrades used in the project were created by Q-railing, and comprise a variety of systems: Square Line and Quickrail baluster railings with distinctive bar infills cover 140 metres and 185 metres respectively; there are more than 500 metres of Easy Glass structural glazing balustrades, complete with stainless steel and wooden cap rails; and, lastly, the design incorporates 175 metres of round, stainless steel Q-line handrail.The quality of materials and installation, as well as the clean and modern look of the Q-railing products, were key factors for IPA project architect John Kelly.