Great Western Bank – Cedar Rapids Branch

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Client
    Great Western Bank
  • SQ. FT.
  • Budget
  • Market
  • Year
  • 2020 · Masonry Institute of Iowa
    Appreciation Award
  • 2019 · American Institute of Architects, Iowa Chapter
    Honorable Mention Award

This new bank building, located along a heavily traveled primary road, capitalized on the opportunity to make an impact through design for this bank’s first location in the community.

The plan is organized around two main cross-axis.  The short axis includes the entrance, seating area, a conference room and a small exterior tree grove.  The long east-west axis is organized along the drive-up and teller line, seating area, and central conference room.  The building is also organized by a 3’-6” planning module which regulates interior and exterior glazing, as well as exterior stone and weathered steel panels.  The true north-south orientation takes advantage of passive daylighting and the architecture shields the east and west ends from unwanted solar gain.

The interior offices, conference rooms and support spaces create a continuous ring around the central core.  Offices have glass fronts to maximize security and the benefits of natural light while promoting connectivity with customers and colleagues.  It was important that the project reflect how banks will evolve in the future, such as a single drive-up lane and a teller line that eliminates the traditional vertical divisions between stations.

The finish pallet is kept minimal, with polished concrete floors in the central zone, clean white ceilings, and walnut features at the central conference room and teller station wraps.

The exterior rhythm of 2/3 stone panel, 1/3 window defines offices.  Weathered steel set in prairie grass wraps the most public functions of tellers, drive-up and vault.  An additional thin band of weathered steel unifies the length of the elevation and completes itself in a perforated steel screen that doubles as a signage backdrop for the most visible public elevation of the bank.

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