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Brookline Bank, Newton Highlands
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Brookline Bank Newton Highlands


Brookline Bank hired Approach Architects to design and manage the construction of their new facility in Newton Highlands, MA. The prior tenant had also been a bank, and our client wished to reduce the cost and duration of their renovation by retaining and refinishing much of the original construction and adding key feature elements to create a tightly branded space.

The 1,800 SF branch is located in two joined storefronts on Lincoln Street. The branch program includes (2) full service teller stations, (1) greeter position, (1) platform desk, (1) private office, (1) conference room, (2) community display areas, (1) online station, (1) night drop, (1) full service ATM, and accompanying support areas.

Our Approach

With the goal of retaining and reusing many of the existing elements, our first objective was to evaluate the layout and condition of the existing space and determine the best way to utilize that space. We decided to keep most of the existing partitions and maintain the flow of the space. The existing millwork, with the exception of the check desks and back-of-house pieces, were removed. We made some adjustments to the existing ceiling and lighting to better highlight the Bank’s merchandising and marketing fixtures.

The new construction focused on bringing the Brookline Bank brand to the space. Due to space restrictions, the ATM Lobby was too small for the standard individual surrounds, so we designed a custom branded surround for both the ATM and depository. The existing oval check desk, the “Egg”, was modified and expanded to allow it to also serve as a greeter position and sit-down check desk. A gallery wall for local artists leads to the new teller positions. Framing the waiting area at the storefront are two millwork display pedestals with perforated metal screens for Bank and community displays. One pedestal also serves as a privacy and sun screen for the adjoining online banking station. On the other side of an enclosed platform position, a casual interaction area features a plasma display and coffee service counter. The office at the back of the lobby allows the manager to monitor the whole branch and be accessible to customers.

The Details

A flat partition adjacent to the tellers was converted into a marketing focal point by creating an illuminated niche for the Bank’s logo display. Utilizing modern milling techniques, our merchandising vendor was able to create a durable, carved, wood-faced medallion at a competitive price within the project’s short timeframe. The combination of lighting and visual interest draws the eye from the street to the back of the banking lobby.

The materials, finishes, and furniture standards established by Approach were used to maintain the Bank’s brand. The millwork and merchandising design was tailored to utilize the existing infrastructure while maintaining the lines developed for the prototype.