Sugamo Shinkin Bank Shimura Branch

The Sugamo Shinkin Bank Shimura Branch isn’t the only design I’m drooling over by emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design. In fact, if you head on over to their website, you could spend days drooling. From unexpected patterns to bold shapes and rainbow colors, emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design certainly knows how to stop the show. I think I’d feel very happy giving my money to a bank that looks like this…

From the architects:

Sugamo Shinkin Bank is a credit union that strives to provide first-rate hospitality to its customers in accordance with its motto: “we take pleasure in serving happy customers.” Having completed the design for branch outlets of Sugamo Shinkin Bank located in Tokiwadai and Niiza, we were also commissioned to handle the architectural and interior design for its newly rebuilt branch in Shimura. For this project, we sought to create a refreshing atmosphere with a palpable sense of nature based on an open sky motif.

12 layers of color
A rainbow-like stack of colored layers,
peeking out from the façade
to welcome visitors.

Reflected onto the white surface,
these colors leave a faint trace over it,
creating a warm, gentle feeling.

At night, the colored layers are faintly illuminated.
The illumination varies according to the season and time of day,
conjuring up myriad landscapes.

A piece of the sky
Upon entering the building, three elliptical skylights bathe the interior in a soft 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, refreshing your body from within.

Fuzzy puffs
The ceiling is adorned with dandelion puff motifs that seem to float and drift through the air. In Europe, there is a long and cherished custom of blowing on one of these fuzzy balls while secretly making a wish. Bits of fluffy down gently dance and frolic in the air, carried by the wind.

ATMs, teller windows, consultation booths and an open space laid out with chairs in 14 different colors are located on the first floor. The second storey houses offices, meeting rooms and a cafeteria, while the third floor is reserved for the staff changing rooms. Three long glass airwells thread through the first and second levels of the building, flooding the interior with natural light as well as “blowing” air through it.

Architecture: emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design
Space Design/Sign Design: emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design
Photography: Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Location: 1-17-15 Azusawa Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 174-0051, Japan
Site Area: 762.53m2
Floor Area: 699.67m2 (1F/329.10m2 2F/312.56m2 3F/58.00 m2?
Construction Period: July 2010 – February 2011
General Contractor: Komatsubara Komuten Ltd.
Colored Layers Aluminum Panels: Kikukawa Kogyo Co., Ltd.
Elliptical Curved Laminated Glass: Shinko Glass Industry Co., Ltd.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.