Designed pro bono and in collaboration with d/b/A Design-Build, as part of DesigNYC.

Housed in an early 20th century former bank building that experienced multiple, albeit haphazard, modernizations – the most recent of which took place fifteen years ago – the credit union is a member-owned, not-for-profit institution that provides an alternative to traditional banking and serves its community by reinvesting in it. To that end, they wanted a proper, well-designed renovation that would retain some of the original space’s historic features and the welcoming character its members have come to appreciate. In essence, they wanted a place that their members and staff could be proud of.

The renovation incorporates several architectural elements that help create a dynamic new look, while making functional improvements in terms of organization, circulation, privacy, and lighting. A new greeter-desk at the entrance to the lobby acts as ‘information central’ where a receptionist can assist members and provide them with various information brochures. New custom built-in benches provide a comfortable place to sit and wait.

The focal point of the new design is a partition made of Corian that provides security and privacy for the back-office area. The partition is slightly transparent and emblazoned with a laser-cut of the credit union’s logo. The cut-outs allows for the flutter of movement to be visible from the lobby area and vice-versa. And to create a unifying effect, a new plane of custom-made bent metal shrouds painted in the credit union’s brand colors, were designed to generate a dynamic and illuminated surface that encases state-of-the-art lighting fixtures and makes the space look more spacious.

Photographs by Aislinn Weidele.