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Pentagram Design completes a new flagship branch for M&T

by James 08 November 2010
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    This building is a new 9,200 sq ft, single-storey flagship branch of M&T Bank, headquartered in Buffalo, New York. Its aim is to express M&T’s brand personality and values with a compelling image to differentiate M&T from its competitors. At twice the size of M&T’s typical new branches, its constituent parts have been designed to be scalable across future branch sites and business needs. It has also been designed to LEED standards and is anticipated to achieve a LEED Gold rating.

    It 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 form that underlines this quick-service component of the branch.

    The high 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 skylit public banking hall providing varying levels of client privacy, and the back office spaces that support them.

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