The Milford National Bank and Trust Company hired Approach Architects to design and manage the construction for their new banking center in Hopkinton, MA. This new branch was to be located in a structure under development on South Street adjacent to an established restaurant. The new building would have two tenants: the bank and a coffee shop. The charge was to utilize shared space with the coffee shop and create a “tech savvy” branch that would attract clients from a nearby high-tech campus.
The branch program was to include (1) greeter position, (1) platform desk, (4) full service teller stations, (1) online station, (3) private offices, (1) conference room, (1) full service ATM, (2) drive-up tube tellers, (1) drive-up ATM, (1) drive-up night drop, and associated support areas.
Our primary challenge was to compress the bank’s generous program into a small 2000 sq. ft. store. Utilizing the full volume of the space, we looked to create something vibrant and “high-tech” within a traditional New England saltbox building shell. We designed a large structural frame along the front and back edges of our space, using it to distinguish office and support areas from the central public lobby. Due to the limited space for standard tellers, we proposed replacing half of them with walk-up, self-service tube stations, which required a smaller footprint while maintaining the full functionality of a traditional teller.
The lobby ceiling was kept as high as possible to create an open volume where the design elements could best be located and viewed. The major element in this volume is our multimedia marquee. Constructed from aluminum tubes with acrylic panels, the marquee hangs high in the 16'-0" volume. Two plasma displays are integrated into the marquee’s metal framing, providing opportunities for promotional messages and financial news. The marquee is dramatically lit from all sides with low-voltage flood lamps.
Below the marquee, the branch features access to expedited banking services. The “Milford Quick Tubes” are walk-up self-service tube teller stations equipped with cameras and monitors to allow fast communication with dedicated tellers servicing both the walk-up and drive-up tube teller locations. The units are set into a sculptured wall, the only angled wall in the space. Adjacent to the Quick Tubes is the online banking kiosk where customers can quickly reference their account information. These new banking technologies were located in close proximity to the greeter and customer service station to allow the staff to assist customers in how to use these services.
The Bank’s space is accessed through a common vestibule, beyond which is an area shared with the adjacent tenant. This open zone encourages customers to utilize both establishments during the same visit. A recessed rolling screen is lowered through this zone after banking hours to provide security while still maintaining a visual connection into the colorful and dynamic interior banking areas.
The finish palette was selected to create a warm background against which the brightly colored program elements can ‘pop.’ Vibrant red walls across the backs of the offices mark the customer service areas. The greeter desk, check desk, and teller line feature a translucent red transaction counter draping over a white wood base. The tube tellers and online station reinterpret the transaction counter as red shelf flowing from the interior of the unit.
The lobby is criss crossed by pairs of wires powering dozens of small, low-voltage lamps. These fixtures are aimed to emphasize the specific design elements and merchandising around the space. These wires compliment the exposed wires supporting hanging soffits above the greeter and tellers and the grid ceilings over the offices.