Located at the edge of an expanding community, the new Modesto Commerce Bank, a branch of the Bank of Stockton, is a modern facility for a banking institution that is rooted in the history and landscape of California’s Central Valley.
Playing a prominent role in the bank’s design are metal roofing — incorporating photovoltaics — and walls panels from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp., as well as exposed structural steel tubing by Amerifab.
According to information from Mark Horton / Architecture which designed the facility, “A pair of simple volumes join together to accommodate the various programmatic elements of the bank. The materials chosen for each volume conceptually reinforce the program contained within. A transparent glass volume encloses the public banking area, while the private money-handling area and its accessory spaces are contained within an analogous opaque volume, clad with agglomerate tiles made from a recycled glass that also recalls Sierra granite. These two elements form a literal and figurative junction at the transaction counter, where the individual and the institutional come face-to-face.”
It was noted that the dualistic scheme can be easily adapted to various conditions and utilized as a prototype for new branches as the bank expands throughout California.
“In the tradition of Modernism, various building systems are integrated within the architecture itself: a photovoltaic laminate system is incorporated into the metal roofing; a raised access floor serves as a mechanical supply plenum; and prism-like skylights bring daylight into the central transaction area,” according to information from the architect. ”The dominant building materials — structural steel, wood panels, glass tile — are honestly expressed and selected based on their recyclability, as well as their aesthetic.”
A folded roof — both sculptural and functional — reaches beyond the perimeter of the bank building to shade the glass walls and shelter the covered parking and drive-through bays. This formal gesture, whose origin can be traced back to the surrounding landscape, is supported by a series of tree-like branched columns. Echoing the almond orchards that once prospered on the site, these columns, along with the roof, create an organic counterpoint to the orthogonal volumes of the bank enclosure.
With careful execution, the rigorous plan of the bank has been joined with a structural canopy system inspired by forms found in nature. The result is a bank that alludes to the history and landscape of the site while maintaining a form that will continue to be contextually appropriate long after the encroaching urbanism inevitably expands beyond the structure.
The architect was Mark Horton / Architecture of San Francisco, CA. Mark Horton is the company’s principal and David Gill was project architect. The general contractor was J.R. Lennen Construction Inc. Others involved in the project included: Holmes Culley, structural engineer; Acies Engineering, M.E.P. engineer; revolverdesign, lighting designer; Haag Landscape Architecture, landscape architect; and BKF Engineering, civil engineer.
Among the product suppliers were: Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp., metal roofing and metal siding; Amerifab, exposed structural steel; Vistawall, storefront windows and doors; PPG, tinted insulated glazing; and UniSolar, photovoltaic laminate.
For more information on Mark Horton / Architecture, go to www.mh-a.com.