CambridgePort Bank re-engaged Approach Architects to design and manage the renovation and expansion of a new build-out in the Coolidge Corner neighborhood of Brookline. The location was half of a space previously occupied by a clothing retailer. The final branch program was to include (5) full service teller stations, (2) platform desks, (2) offices, a conference room, night deposit, (2) full service ATM’s and support areas. It was also to include a larger facility in the back that would be available for training or special bank functions.
The primary goal of the project was to use the palette developed for the recently completed Harvard Square branch as the model for this new location. There were a few details that the Bank wanted to try and treat differently at this location to see if the overall cost of the project could be reduced. We worked very hard to value both goals as we developed the branch.
The major design challenge was how to organize the space so as to emulate the customer flow we developed at Harvard Square. At this location, the interior was higher that the sidewalk, and the existing entry doors did not meet the state accessibility requirements. We decided to relocate the entrance to its original location at the corner of the building. This change required review by the Brookline Planning Board and a public hearing. We prepared all the required exhibits and presented them successfully to the board.
Similar to Harvard Square, the Branch is arranged in four zones surrounding the banking lobby. Customers enter the branch through the 24-hour ATM Lobby. The platform desks are along the windows to the right. The teller line forms the left side. The offices are at the back with the support areas behind. Passing between the offices and the conference room leads into the training facility.
At the client’s request, some of the materials were changed for this location. The solid surface was made lighter, and the blue laminate was removed from the teller line. All the other materials were used in the same manner as at Harvard Square, maintaining the look and feel of that original palette.
We modified the style of the platform partitions to reduce costs. The new design is rectilinear, not curved. The partitions are floor-mounted, and the translucent portion at the top is not as tall. These changes allowed the project to be completed within the budget without compromising the privacy of the customers.