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United Bank Main Branch

Bank's Main Branch Makeover Includes MCM From Citadel

United Bank’s branch and corporate office has been a staple in Grand Rapids, MI, for years. Bank executives recently wanted to improve the banking experience and its headquarters functionality at the dated site with an exterior and interior renovation. Citadel Architectural Products’ Envelope 2000® metal composite material (MCM), installed using the RainScreen (RS) attachment system, was selected for the exterior because it met the requirements for an accelerated project schedule while displaying the bank’s corporate brand. The panels were fabricated and installed by Architectural Metals Inc., Portland, MI.

“The metal satisfied the design intent and requested colors,” says Andy DeBoer, project manager with Architectural Metals. “The composite panels were specifically selected because of the endless joint location and panel sizes.”

Architectural Metals procured the raw Citadel material and fabricated 9,230 square feet of Envelope 2000 RS in Charcoal Grey, Arctic White and Regal Blue. White was chosen as a neutral main color, gray frames a prominent window area as a picture frame, and blue adds a pop of the corporate color. Envelope 2000 RS consists of 4-mm-thick MCM panels with a durable, 0.105-inch thermoset phenolic resin core that provides an ultra-smooth substrate. The RS system allows incidental moisture to enter and then exit through weepholes.

The organization’s signature brand is quickly visualized from the street with the color selection and panel orientation. For the installation, a vapor barrier was placed over the structure, and the panels were installed from left to right and bottom to top without any challenges. 

Design-builder Progressive AE, Grand Rapids, worked with United Bank for several years to make the renovation personable. The original 3-story 1960’s building was outdated and hidden from the street. To visually anchor the bank’s presence in the city, tall walls and landscaping that shrouded the entrance were removed and an original interior stairwell was made a feature. 

“The original stepped brick façade was updated with metal panels, with the metal adding a modern curb appeal,” says Chris Sholl, a project manager with Progressive AE. “The metal composite panels really frame the glass curtainwall system of the stairway to become the feature elements of the building, with the existing brick and windows becoming less noticeable. At night, this feature is lit up and really pops.”

On the inside, Progressive AE created a home-like feel with wood textures, clean lines and more natural light. A reception desk greets customers and invites them into the space, leading to the teller and banking area. Staff now has improved work spaces within the first-floor bank, as well as in the headquarters on the second and third floors. Redesigned offices, work stations, break rooms and board rooms complete the renovation.

“One of United Bank’s design goals was for its facilities to come into the present time and say, ‘This is our brand and image,’” Sholl notes. “The exterior now tells a story about what is happening on the inside for an easy and personal banking experience.”

About Citadel Architectural Products Inc.

Citadel logoCitadel Architectural Products, Inc. is a manufacturer of composite panels and systems for the commercial cladding industry. With one of the most complete selections in the industry, products range from high-end fabricated metal composite material (MCM) to field-assembled systems and glazing infill panels. This offering is supported by a commitment to quality and customer service, delivered by an ISO 9001 registered management system, and backed by nearly 50 years of experience. To learn more, call (800) 446-8828 or visit

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