Sugamo Shinkin Bank / Nakaaoki branch

Saitama, Japan
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Photo © Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Architects
Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design
Location
Saitama, Japan
Year
2014

'rainbow melody'

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". Nakaaoki branch is the forth branch where Emmanuelle has been commissioned to handle the architectural and interior design. The common request for all branches is to create a bank where people wish to stay longer and naturally feel to come back again.

Nakaaoki branch is located on the corner of major intersection, where there is a frequent movement of cars, busses, bicycles, and people. Taking this unique location as a characteristic, the facade is designed to be rhythmical that changes expression as people see from different angles.
Colors appear in and out from the rhythmical repetition of cubes, dancing like musical notes playing rainbow melody. The facade is composed of cubes of four different depths. Colors are applied on the front or side of these cubes, so that the colors appear, disappear or overlap as the direction of view changes. Small elevated gardens are built inside 12 cubes, where the seasonal changes in nature are expressed by seasonal flowers like marigold, lavender, and growing trees such as olive tree. Gardens can be seen from the open space on the first floor, and from the financing section and cafeteria on the second floor. Sunlight is filtered through the foliage of elevated gardens on the South facing facade, providing a harmonious and warm atmosphere inside the bank. The interior finishes are settled and muted compare to the rhythmical movement of the facade.
The colors, flowers and trees appear in and out from the repetition of floating cubes, playing rainbow melody. The melody spreads happiness and comfort to visitors and to the people in the local community.

The site characteristics and Emmanuelle's interpretation have fused together to produce Nakaaoki branch. She wishes that the new bank will bring happiness and laughter to many people, just like the other four branches she has designed.

"Located on the corner of major intersection,
facade is viewed from various angles.
As you walk pass the bank,
different colors appear in and out, or overlap,
creating a rhythmical movement that continuously changes the scene of the place.

12 small elevated gardens are scattered among the colors,
adding seasonal quality to the facade.
Visitors can enjoy the whole scenery from the outside,
and from inside are the small gardens extending out from the room.

Rainbow melody,
our mind settles naturally,
as we listen to the rhythm of colors."

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