The Rainbow Mille-Feuille Bank

published in: Architecture By Marcia Argyriades, 04 May 2011

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photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Program: Sugamo Shinkin Bank Branch
Architecture: Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture + design
Interior Design/Logo Design : Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture + design
Location: 1-17-15 Azusawa Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 174-0051 JAPAN
Structure: Steel Structure
Site Area: 762.53 square meters
Floor Area: 699.67 square meters (GF/329.10m2   1F/312.56m2   2F/58.00 m2)
Design Period: January 2010 - June 2010
Construction Period: July 2010 - February 2011
Opening: March 18, 2011
Photography : Nacasa & Partners Inc.
 

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

One thing about banks is that they are always too serious!  Their design, the people, the dress-code!  Especially nowadays with the world-wide economic hold back, you see dull employee faces with forged smiles.  Why not change the environment and make it friendlier and more playful both for the employee and for the visitor?  Tokyo based studio Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture + design adds a twist to make the serious and dull bank environment friendlier, colorful and playful.
 

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

One thing that CEO’s and managers don’t realize is that a bank won’t lose its credibility if it has a friendlier and more playful design; instead, it can attract customers.  However, Sugamo Shinkin Bank thinks outside the box in terms of the bank atmosphere and design, and it strives to provide first-rate hospitality to its customers in accordance with its motto: “we take pleasure in serving happy customers.” After the successful redesign of the bank branch outlets of Sugamo Shinkin Bank located in Tokiwadai and Niiza, Tokyo based studio Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture + design was commissioned to transform the architectural and interior design for its newly rebuilt branch in Shimura, Tokyo – JAPAN.  For this project, Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture + design sought to generate an invigorating atmosphere with a palpable sense of nature based on an open sky motif.
 

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

The eye-catching rainbow mille-feuille façade of Aluminum plate Fluoro-resin paint finish is intriguing; twelve layers of color comprise the rainbow-like mille-feuille.  The rainbow-like stack of colored layers, peeks out alluringly from the façade to welcome visitors and hint you as per to the first-rate hospitality.  Reflected onto the white surface these colors leave a faint trace over it, creating a warm, glamorous, and captivating yet gentle feeling.  During the night Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture + design has dealt with the colored layers in such a way as to provide a soft and quiet illumination.  The illumination varies according to the season and time of day, conjuring up myriad landscapes.
 

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Upon entering the bank premises Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture + design sought to generate an invigorating atmosphere with a palpable sense of nature based on an open sky motif.  A piece of the sky is made available to the visitor, where three elliptical skylights bathe the interior in soft natural light. Visitors spontaneously look up to see a cut-out piece of the sky that invites them to gaze languidly at it.  The open sky and sensation of openness prompts you to take deep breaths, relax and refresh your body from within.
 

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

A fuzzy puff playful motif where the ceiling is adorned with dandelion puffs seems to float and drift through the air.  In the European countries as opposed to the Eastern countries, there is a long and cherished custom of blowing on one of these fuzzy balls while secretly making a wish.  Bits of fluffy gently dance and are frolicly carried by the wind in the air.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

The open plan layout in the white painted interior with the hints of colorful fuzzy puffs of adhesive colored films creates a comforting atmosphere.   Vinyl flooring in oak wood and carpets have been used in the interiors while teak deck flooring has been used in the exterior spaces. ATM’s, bank teller windows and consultation booths are carefully placed within the open plan space of the ground floor.  A lobby with fourteen different colored chairs brings the exterior colors to the interior.  The first floor houses offices, meeting rooms and a cafeteria, while the second floor is reserved for the staff changing rooms.   Three long glass air wells pierce through the first and second level of the building, flooding the interior with natural light as well as “blowing” air through it.
 
All in all, the playfulness, the color and the rainbow like appearance of Sugamo Shinkin Bank adds a twist to the serious and dull bank environment by making it friendlier, multi-colored, vibrant and playful.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

photo © Nacasa & Partners Inc.

sources:

Emmanuelle Moureaux

  • friend
    Lena | 2011-05-04 16:52:05

    I love this! I'd bank here in a minute. what a refreshing take on a usually boring and predictable environment. certainly gives you good vibes and positive energy when banking here. however, being a bit of an orderly freak myself I find the waiting area arrangement a little haphazard. being a rug designer I would have designed a rug featuring a series of borders of the main colors that are used throughout the scheme on a cream or beige (as in the image) background. I feel it would ground the waiting area better. just my opinion....

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