This small structure brings character to a thoroughly quotidian program and location: a branch bank in a large strip-mall complex in Columbus, Indiana. Created for the Irwin Union Bank, this project had a modest budget with big ambitions. We wanted to recast the nondescript, ordinary bank interior into an elevated and elegant space.
To bring the extraordinary to this modest structure, we designed a glass clerestory, which floats above the central teller area, bathing the interiors with a diffuse, natural light, even on the cloudiest of days. Made of planks of structural channel glass, the clerestory structure gives double height to the bank’s main hall and fills it with plentiful natural light, in relief from the windowless, fluorescent-lit spaces of the nearby big retail chains.
The tight budget required finding design solutions in local materials, such as Indiana limestone, as well as deploying conventional construction methods in unexpected and surprising ways.