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Summit Credit Union

Inspiration Branch

Well, we’re guessing this is your only entry with the Leaning Tower of Pisa or an airline fuselage in the middle of the lobby – but that’s just a guess. What else?

A cut-away section of a dream house, featuring a girl’s bedroom, kitchen and breakfast nook

A 3-D “snapshot” from a scene of the Shambles, a historic medieval street in York, England

An English pub interior, complete with British sporting and brewery paraphernalia

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

A section of an airliner replica, featuring real aircraft doors, windows and seats

A beach scene, complete with beach chairs, an umbrella and a real sailboat

“Summit Dream College,” a replica of an institution of higher learning based on Bascom Hall

In addition to showcasing quintessential 3-D images of common dreams including home ownership, education and travel, the branch was designed with an open and informal concept – there are no traditional teller lines – and supports Summit’s overarching focus on the women’s market.

The Fitchburg location was chosen to pilot this concept (in part) because it was scheduled for its first capital improvements since being built in 2000. The inspiration facades were designed to be removable, like a stage set without affecting the structure of the branch. The use of economical theatre-set materials in the project is a cost-effective way to remind members of their dreams and inspire action.

The challenge of accommodating the inward-slanted walls of the existing branch was itself a catalyst for the choice of the cantilevered half-timbered Shambles facade and the Leaning Tower of Pisa as thematic elements. The rhythm of the Shambles facades reflects the bay spacing of the existing heavy timber trusses while the roof slopes of the Dream House align with that of the existing structure.

In addition to being a fun, inspirational environment, the branch will also continue to offer all of the traditional financial services and transactions. An additional benefit of the lighthearted nature of the project has been that it has visibly lifted the spirits and morale of the Summit staff of this particular branch.

Private meeting spaces, while being designed with the inspiration theme in mind, also accommodate the real-life needs of users. For example, members with children in tow can meet with their financial advisor inside the airline replica, which, in addition to real airplane passenger seats, also includes captain’s seats, headsets and a flight simulators designed to occupy and entertain the children of members during meetings.

Summit Credit Union believes they have an obligation to try new things to support their members’ financial wellness. They know that visual reminders of goals and engaging environments support commitment & stimulate new thinking and action. They hope the Inspiration Branch will build cooperative value for all members as it captures and builds imagination and dreams.

Location:
Fitchburg, WI

Client:
Summit Credit Union

Size:
2,600 SF

Construction Type:
Renovation