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2019 Commercial Design Awards: You've got personality!

Winning commercial building designs reflect the personality of their tenants.

(page 4 of 12)

Summit Credit Union–Monona

Best New Development or Renovation–Retail

Summit Credit Union’s new branch in Monona is fast becoming a contemporary landmark that recaptures the past glory of financial institution architecture.

The site and 3,800-square-foot facility were designed to address Summit Credit Union’s desire for a highly visible facility, but the site presented challenges. First, it had limited street exposure to Monona Drive, being longer in the east-west direction with the street having a north-south orientation. As a result, the floor plan is trapezoidal to provide enough area to accommodate all the program elements.

In addition, the city of Monona Plan Commission required the building to front onto Monona Drive, with parking located away from the street. Designers gave the site two fronts and no back with a welcoming street façade on the east and a main entrance on the west, and the trapezoidal forms of the glazed curtainwall plus the brick finish and roof overhangs reach out to the community.

The building interior also reaches out, projecting an image of openness and, like other Summit branches, rebuffs the notion of a “stuffy” financial institution. The material palette of shimmering manganese iron-spot brick and silver metal is juxtaposed with bright splashes of color inside the building. Informal seating areas and dynamic displays animate the space and traditional teller lines are replaced with inviting “teller pods.”

While adhering to strict security needs, the facility offers comfortable meeting spaces with varying degrees of privacy. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow much of the building to rely on natural daylighting, and sail-shaped fabric sunshades reduce solar heat gain and glare.

One CDA judge felt the design represents what financial institutions can be but seldom are. It also demonstrates how  architecture can help brand a business — in this case as a community-centered institution. “Back in the 1950s and ’60s, bank architecture was some of the most exciting architecture in any community, but that has seen a long decline,” he notes. “This building is a notable exception to that depressing trend.”

Project credits

Location: 5809 Monona Drive, Monona, WI 53716
Owner/Developer:Summit Credit Union
General Contractor/Construction Firm: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Architect/Interior Design/Engineer: Strang Inc.
Photography: Harper Fritsch Studios
Completion Date: September 2018

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