Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
New Capital One Bank & Café in Santa Monica, California by Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio
October 4th, 2017 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio
The new Capital One Bank at the corner of 4th & Broadway in downtown Santa Monica harmoniously blends a twist on a modern mid-century style design within the existing streetscape with a low-scale, two-story commercial building. The new 8,400 square foot, 2-story building echoes the character of a mid-century bank while creating a new ‘concept’ in banking. The café and bank combination will serve as a “third place” for the community – a place where people come to spend time outside of their home and work.
The primitive volume is excavated at the corner to maximize the pedestrian oriented nature within the urban setting. The ground floor entry plaza is inset approximately 9’ from the existing sidewalk with a NanaWall folding door system that accentuates the presence of the entry and provides a focal pedestrian entrance. The ground floor is fully transparent while the rest of the building composition plays with the transparency by incorporating partially screened louvers and solid walls clad with glazed brick tiles. Along the Broadway elevation, the majority of the building façade on both the first and second floors are comprised of clear anodized low glazed aluminum windows with fixed, non-operable 1’-2’ spaced powder coated white aluminum louvers that cover the windows, while the rear portion of the building façade is comprised of glossy winter white glazed brick tiles. Along the 4th Street elevation, the upper level building walls are finished in the same glossy white glazed brick tiles while the ground level is finished with fixed clear anodized low glazed aluminum windows, and an entry swing door that leads into a vestibule area.
The modest proportions of the proposed building blends well with the existing downtown environment and provides relief to an intersection that is developed with multi-story developments. The design adds to the storefront rhythm of the immediate area and adds a contemporary building to the variety of architectural styles that exist in the downtown area.
The bank was unanimously passed by the notoriously hard-to-please Architectural Review Board in Santa Monica. The following is a sampling of the comments from that August 3rd, 2015 board meeting: “A breath of fresh air for downtown Santa Monica”; “It is refreshing to see a project that does not attempt to build 4 stories on a corner lot in downtown Santa Monica, preserving views of the sky”; and “The building responds well to the urban environment: the folding glass wall works well in connecting the interior to the pedestrian neighborhood, and so does locating the cafe towards the corner of Broadway and 4th street.”
Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio, Inc. (GP-US) was founded in 2010 and is the successor to the award-winning firm, Pugh + Scarpa, which Gwynne led for 22 years, from 1988 until 2010. As principal of GP-US, Gwynne Pugh, FAIA, ASCE, LEED AP, prides his firm’s flexible range of skills and abilities including designing cutting edge architecture appropriate to its context, working with communities and creating a strong urban design presence. As a firm we produce work with the understanding that it does not exist in isolation and with the intent that it actively contributes to enhancing its environment The firm is committed to exploring and improving the urban experience through architecture, design and planning. In an effort to meet this goal, we have taken on a wide variety of projects and are knowledgeable in all facets of the field.
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