Wainwright Bank hired Approach Architects to design and manage the construction for their new facility in Cambridge, MA. The new branch was to be located in a former restaurant site on Massachusetts avenue. The branch program was to include (4) full service teller station, (3) platform desks, (2) private offices, (1) community room, (1) night drop, (1) full service ATM and support areas.
The goals of the project were to establish the banks presence on the heavily trafficked roadway and to create a distinct retail environment.
The main challenge at this location was that the length of our storefront was roughly half the overall width of our lease able space and the space that remained had a series of columns that marched the entire length of the space. We used the narrow street side area for our 24 hour ATM lobby, marketing wall, and community room. The main branch lobby was set back from the storefront to take advantage of the full width of the space. In all cases, the structural columns were integrated into the custom millwork, whether it be the teller stations or the community room table.
To increase the visibility of the branch and to help draw customers into the main lobby, we designed a series of curved soffits that were suspended from the existing ceiling and stepped down as they moved from the rear of the space to the storefront. Along the edge of these stepped soffits we located sea foam colored neon tubes that were visible from the street both during the day and at night.
In keeping with the “suspension” design theme, in the teller millwork we incorporated stainless steel purse shelves that were suspended from cables off of the teller fronts. Similarly, the community room table was built around and suspended from two of the existing structural steel columns. We also integrated the design elements into the banks merchandising program by designing suspended perforated metal framework for the bank to mount their marketing posters on.
Approach Architects was responsible for the design and selection of all materials, finishes, fabric, and furnishings of the new branch. We were fortunate that the existing space had exposed brick walls and an existing hardwood floor that were both in good condition. We used these existing materials as the foundation from which we developed are new finish palette that included stainless steel, acid washed brush hammered metal, and recycled burgundy fiber composite laminates.