M&T Bank - Southgate Plaza BranchEdit profile
This building is a new 9200 square foot single story flagship branch of M&T Bank, which is headquartered in Buffalo, New York. It sets out to express M&T’s brand personality and values with a distinct and compelling image that differentiates M&T from its competitors and endures well into the future. At roughly twice the size of M&T’s typical new branches its constituent parts have been designed to be scalable across future branch sites and their business needs. It has also been designed to LEED standards and is anticipated to achieve a LEED Gold rating. The building is a simple rectilinear volume with two storefront elevations, a drive-up elevation, and a side elevation. The visually open storefront elevations face the street and public way providing as much visibility from the outside to the inside of the branch as possible. By contrast the other two elevations are primarily solid, enclosing all the back office and service spaces. The drive-up elevation is angled to give a strong form to the drive-up canopy. Its parallelogram plan gives it a dynamic that underlines this quick-service component of the branch. The storefront sides of the branch allow natural light to penetrate the banking hall as much as possible. To protect the building from direct solar gain and eliminate glare from the interior consultancy areas these two elevations are shielded by a colonnade, a high canopy, and a louver screen. The colonnade also provides a welcoming covered walkway for customers as they pass under shelter from their cars to the main entrance. A lower canopy marks the entrance to the branch which is set back from a public plaza that provides a place for visitors and passers-by to sit, wait or meet. The simple interior plan derives from preferred relationships between the public banking hall providing varying levels of client privacy, and the back office spaces that support them. Customers approach the entrance via a plaid graphic ATM-surround that wraps from inside to outside of the entrance vestibule to mark a branded sense of arrival. From there they enter into the central public space of the banking hall. Here they have views through the branch, beyond the teller area to the drive-up tellers and the drive-up space itself. They pass the ‘M&T Store’ where they shop for or research banking services and can then interact with a consultant at the curved customer service counter. The walls behind the tellers and customer service counter become focal points with M&T’s strong plaid brand graphic. These graphic walls draw customers through the banking hall and connect the interior of the branch to the plaid elements on the exterior storefront. In the center of the banking hall are three domed skylights. Together with a raised and perimeter-lit ceiling the space recalls the generous interior halls traditional to this building type. The frosted glass skylights bring pools of natural light into the center of the banking hall, creating a sense of arrival and a point of orientation for all customers as they make their way to each of the bank’s services.