Emmanuelle Moureaux’s latest bank in Japan is just another example of how institutional buildings don’t always need to be sterile, dull and monochrome.
Located outside of Tokyo in Shimura, the Sugamo Shinkin credit union’s colourful exterior facade and interior is definitely a departure from your typical bank.
Twelve rainbow-coloured slabs are stacked and inserted into an otherwise unassuming white box. The layers are illuminated at night, giving off faint hues of the saturated palette. Inside, colour continues to dominate the design. Flower motifs cover the ceilings, walls and bank machines while vibrantly tinted furniture purposefully match the building’s exterior. The floral pattern continues to the upper floor where offices are located.
The most striking feature of the interiors is made up of the three glass sun tunnels penetrating the building. The transparent, curving tubes bring natural light to all three levels and also create interesting cylindrical sculptures.
Completed earlier this year, the bank is the third branch designed by Emmanuelle Moureaux, a French national with a thriving Tokyo practise.