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 façade 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 façade 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 façade, providing a harmonious and warm atmosphere inside the bank. The interior finishes are settled and muted compare to the rhythmical movement of the façade.
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.