BANK OF MANHATTAN
The Bank of Manhattan headquarters and flagship branch defy the conventional corporate bank image with an inviting contemporary environment that is more boutique hotel than guarded financial institution. The client approached architecture firm, form environment research (fer) studio, to update its headquarters to project the company’s more approachable brand identity and to create a comfortable small business banking atmosphere for its customers, while maintaining the necessary requirements for bank security. Located on the ground floor of a six-story commercial building in El Segundo, CA, the project addresses an interior and exterior remodel and expansion to an existing corporate office space, board room, conference rooms and branch location.
The new exterior features a landscaped plaza, signage and rectilinear wood and steel canopy that provide a distinct street presence for the bank against the building’s expansive glazed façade. In addition to scaling down the multi-story structure to give a more intimate approach for customers, the canopy shelters the ATM box, which protrudes from the glass doorway as a stone clad cube. Typical ATM flood lighting was dismissed for more refined recessed overhead lighting and bollards that together furnish the required visibility by code, while maintaining the polished design of the new entry. The lighting design combined with the warm natural materials of the dark wood, shell stone, cobbles and feathery plant material provide a more inviting notion of arrival for customers and bank employees.