After living here for seven years now, I finally got to visit the World Bank today! Met up with my friend who’s an employee there, and she brought me inside the building for lunch at the cafeteria. It felt like
I was at a major international convention center for a conference – it was so busy inside!
Before we went to lunch, my friend made it a point to show me the atrium (left pic below) which of course is beautiful during the day, when the sun is out.
Quick anecdote about the World Bank’s architecture: To avoid any connections to colonialism — given that the bank provides assistance to developing countries — it was purposely built without classical European designs and materials.
If the intent behind a building’s design was to claim superiority over other cultures, then that’s obviously wrong. Otherwise, I love classical architecture, and colonialism is the furthest thing from my mind when I’m visiting buildings with a Greek or Roman facade.
But in the World Bank’s case, where employees come from all four corners of the world, a neutral design makes sense.