Wainwright Bank hired Approach Architects to design and manage the construction for their new facility in Watertown, MA. The new branch was to be located in a former bank site in the base of an existing six story office building. The branch program was to include (3) full service teller station, (3) platform desks, (1) community room, (1) night drop, (2) full service ATM’s and support areas.
The goals of the project were to increase the visibility of the new branch from the street and the adjacent parking lot and to develop an exciting retail environment through the use of a unique finish palette and custom millwork.
The base building was designed as a mid-rise concrete office tower. During construction, the decision was made to reduce the overall height of the building, but the first few floors had already been poured. The resulting consequence of which was the proposed bank space included large structural piers and a lowered ceiling.
In order to maximize the ceiling height in the bank lobby space, we removed the existing plaster ceiling and exposed the structural concrete waffle slab. This provided us with an opportunity to increase the verticality of the main banking space and to use the concrete as our finished ceiling. We were then able to use a suspended cable lighting system to illuminate the lobby area as well as provide indirect lighting into the waffle slab itself.
We incorporated two Wainwright branding elements to increase the visibility of the branch from the exterior. The first was a curved neon soffit band that ran above the new teller row and the second was the integration of an illuminated panel into the teller station fronts. These two elements were clearly visible from the exterior both during the day and after hours.
The ATM, night drop and community room were all located off of the main lobby to provide 24 hour access.
The separated curved soffits that defined the main lobby and revealed the exposed waffle slab to us represented cogs in motion. With this thought in mind, the teller stations were designed as if they were slowly sliding apart to reveal the illuminated teller front. Likewise the waiting area wall resembled two interlocking walls that separated to reveal a sandblasted logo of Wainwright Bank & Trust. The finish materials selected complemented the industrial quality of the exposed concrete. Brush hammered porcelain tile was used for the lobby flooring, rippled metal & iridescent laminates were used on the millwork, and vibrant blue and gold paint was used on the walls.