O’Sullivan Architects is pleased to announce, the completion of the Northern Bank & Trust Company’s downtown Reading branch, right in our own back yard. Recently completed, the new branch is located on the first floor within the historic M.F. Charles Building. The building was originally built in 1894 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. What made this project so special, from an interior design perspective, was the opportunity to meld the bank’s branch finish standards with the unique features of such an interesting historic building. Exposed brick walls and distressed pine beams were incorporated into Northern Bank’s branch finishes to create a very unique and inviting space. Curved soffits and floor finish changes define areas with different retail banking functions. Customer Associate desks located at either end of the elongated lobby allow bank employees to quickly greet customers as they enter the branch and assist them with whatever services they might need.
The generous size of the lobby allowed for expanded design program features such as a Community Room available to Town residents with after hours access, as well as large expanses of glass in the lobby allowing views into and out of the bank, further enhanced by interior partitions of floor-to-ceiling glass.
Challenged by differences in floor heights, at both the front and rear entrances, ramps were necessary to provide handicap accessibility. Within the front vestibule, a ramp up leads to the walk-up ATM and the handicap accessible entry. The vestibule space is treated as an extension of the interior with similar finishes, such as exposed brick, granite and cherry. Decorative planters line the ramp, and the large windows provide a great opportunity for bank graphics, easily read by pedestrians and motorists alike. Upon entering the bank, there are a series of wide, curved, mahogany steps leading up to the lobby allowing customers a full view of the interior spaces.
With a large amount of parking behind the building, the rear entry was treated with equal importance to the front entrance. Customers enter into a common lobby with a building directory and elevator access to the other floors. The bank is located directly off of this building lobby. An accessible ramp leads you downward, along exposed brick walls with decorative lighting, taking you past the Community Room and through a large, welcoming archway into the main banking lobby.
In addition to the walk-up ATM, the Reading Branch also offers remote drive-up services. Through the use of a pneumatic tube and closed circuit 2-way video system customers can transact business directly with a teller from the drive-up lane or opt to utilize the adjacent drive-up ATM if they prefer.
We were excited at the onset of this project to assist Northern Bank & Trust in creating a prominent presence in the town of Reading, as well as the opportunity to design a full service branch within a building with so much history and character. O’Sullivan Architects is immensely pleased to see the final product has been so successful for our client and their customers!