French architect and designer Emmanuelle Moureaux refused to create a standard financial institution. For four years she astonished residents of Japanese Tokyo with new and nonstandard specimens of the modern architecture of Sugamo Shinkin Bank.
Easiness and mellowness of colors, plants and nonstandard solutions have been embodied in four branches of the bank.
The first one – Sugamo shinkin bank Tokiwadai branch – was opened in 2010. The basis of its interior concept is a tree leaf. The designer used 14 saturated colors framing the windows on the front. Such rhythmical pattern is diluted by prevalent white.
Three-storied building is strictly divided into zones. The ground floor contains cash machines and desks. The second one includes credit departments and the third one is intended exclusively for the staff.
The interior of the bank is decorated with leaves applications. They are everywhere: on the walls, the windows and cash machines. Visitors feel themselves like in a fairy forest. This is connected with the leaf subject in the courtyards with living plants.
Such diversity of colors was chosen by Emmanuelle Moureaux not by accident. The idea of her works is the color zoning (Shikiri).
A year after the first bank in Tokyo Moureaux received a new order: to design Sugamo shinkin bank shimura branch. This building has become revolutionary because the architect deviated from a standard construction with plain walls.
The front of a new building resembles a pile of 12 colored plates. Again the prevalent white color is diluted by all colors of the rainbow including colored furniture inside.
The internal décor is also saturated with mural painting – this time the designer used flowers.
In Sugamo shinkin bank shimura branch the designer’s imagination was embodied in three elliptic windows in the roof that fill the premise with natural light. The ceiling is decorated with dandelions.
Another interesting solution has become a series of glass forms from the ceiling that resemble rays of light. These rays come from the roof to the floor and the visitors can admire the sky when inside. Such know-how brings plenty of natural light and fresh air.
By the way, the project was delivered in 2011 and since than its bright unique front won numerous prizes all over the world for its architectural solutions.
Emmanuelle Moureaux lives and works in Tokyo since 1996. Minimalism inherent to the Japanese interiors is peculiar to the works of the designer. Her Tokyo architectural studio Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design has been successfully working at the local market since 2003. So, after the first two branches the designer realized the third project – Sugamo shinkin bank ekoda branch.
The concept of this branch is called the “rainbow shower”. 29 external colored 9-meter pillars had to be a connective of the exterior and the interior.
Transition from the horizontal to the vertical front has been used owing to the intensive traffic and narrow pavements of the district. So, Emmanuelle decided to play with saving the outer space.
Colored pillars in front and inside the building in combination with the transparent walls create the effect of a single premise. A person coming inside doesn’t understand at first that he crossed the threshold. The feeling is strengthened by the opened space of the cash desks adding the effect of the exterior and interior fusion. Bamboo inside the courtyard continues the subject of the rainbow shower and perfectly accentuates the local café.
The color for Emmanuelle Moureaux is not a simple mark drawn on a surface. It is a layer that widens the space. In addition, with the help of color the designer tries to create the effect of movement. This is the conception she used for the fourth project – Sugamo Shinkin Bank Nakaooki branch that was realized in 2014.
Emmanuelle compared the building with a rainbow-colored melody that flows and shimmers with different colors and shades. The architect also added living plants to the color. The building has one feature: the colors of the cubes change depending on a visual angle.
The front of this building is made harmonic with richness of the street. 12 colored cubes on the walls are not simple inclusions in traditional white – they contain true garden.
Beautiful flowers and trees serve not only as green decorations but as solar filters. Soft and stray light comes inside creating warm atmosphere. The plants can be observed from the ground floor that includes the main hall for the customers and from the first floor where there is a financial sector and a dining room.
The interior of the bank is made similar to the previous projects. The only difference is the walls’ decoration – here they are embellished with various geometrical figures.