SAHARA Highlights: Banks

by Jacqueline Spafford and Jeffrey Klee, SAHARA Co-Editors | Sep 04, 2018

This month, we feature images of banks built since the late 18th century. SAHARA has especially good coverage of modern banks in metropolitan centers around the world, as this sample reveals, with buildings in Buenos Aires and Phnum Pénh.

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1 RBS Edinburgh S_0647a
William Chambers, Royal Bank of Scotland (built as Dundas House), St. Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom; built 1771, converted to Excise Office in 1796, acquired by Royal Bank of Scotland in 1825. Photograph by Richard Longstreth.

2 Town Thompson 122007
Ithiel Town, Thompson Bank, Thompson, Connecticut, c. 1834. Photograph by Lauren Soth.

3 Wagner bank AUS042
Otto Wagner, Postsparkasse (Post Office Savings Bank), Georg-Coch-Platz 2, Vienna, Austria, 1904-1912. Photograph by Allan Kohl, 2008.

4 Iran National Bank
Iran National Bank, Ferdowsi Street, Tehran, Iran, early 20th century. Photograph by Sahar Hosseini, 2013.

5 Sullivan Owatonna Vw_7852a
Louis Sullivan and George Grant Elmslie, National Farmers Bank, Owatonna, Minnesota, 1906-08. Photograph by Dell Upton, 2018.

6 Banco de Boston P1160204
Attributed to Paul Bell Chambers and Louis Thomas Newberry, Banco de Boston (First National Bank of Boston), San Nicolas neighborhood, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1922-24. Portico made of Indiana limestone with bronze entrance doors. Photograph by Caroline “Olivia” Wolf, 2013.

7 Foster HSBC IMG_1066
Sir Norman Robert Foster, HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) headquarters, Hong Kong, China, 1985, detail of upper levels in evening. Photograph by Janet Borland, 2011.

8 Vattanac Phnom-Penh
Terry Farrell & Company, Vattanac Capital Banking Tower, Phnum Pénh, Cambodia, 2009-2014. Photograph by Jackie Spafford, 2014.

9 Euro Ctrl bank FRA 056
Martin Elsässer, Coop Himmelblau, Wolf D. Prix, Europäische Zentralbank (European Central Bank), Frankfurt am Main, Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany; original structure, the Grossmarkthalle, by Elsässer; enlargement by Coop Himmelblau completed in 2014. Photograph by Mark Hinchman, 2018.




Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.
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