“We take pleasure in serving happy customers”: this is the motto of the Japanese bank Sugamo Shinkin, which invests primarily on the hospitality of its customers. The latest branch to be built is the Sugamo Shinkin Bank / Ekoda Branch in Nerima, and, like its three 'sisters', was designed by the French architect emmanuelle moureaux.
The project is a response to the customer's requests: “creating a bank that the customers feel happy to visit.” The site is located in a very busy shopping area with heavy traffic and very narrow sidewalks. These conditions have inspired in the architect the idea of expressing this 'nearness' in the building by 'merging' the exterior and interior.
The building is offset approximately 2 metres from the property line, and the timber-decked peripheral space is filled with colourful 9 meter-tall sticks. These 29 sticks outside, reflected on the façade of transparent glass, mix in a natural way with the 19 sticks arranged randomly inside the building. This “rainbow-shower” restores to the city 'playful' colour and spaces.
Entering the building, the customer/visitor realises that they are still in an outdoor courtyard that leads into the bank and that gives the feeling of total integration of the two spaces. Walking through the internal glazed courtyard, there is a bright open space, like a bar, where the trunks of bamboo and coloured sticks stretch towards the sky. The exterior deck space, interior open space, exterior courtyard, and the interior teller counters compose four layers of spaces, which are reflected on the glass, and, combined with complex shadows, create depth in the space.