North Shore Bank at North End
North Shore Bank hired PRA to reconstruct a historical building on the Upper East Side of the City of Milwaukee to help them gain a greater presence in an underserved community. This part of the city was experiencing redevelopment as new apartments, shops, and restaurants relocated to the area, making it the ideal location for North Shore Bank to establish its first branch in the City of Milwaukee. The resulting building is a 6,298 sq. ft. bank that is a perfect blend of historical context and state-of-the-art banking.
The previous structure on the site was believed to be built in the 1880s, and after an extensive analysis, the team decided to invest in the already existing building to maintain the historic nature of the neighborhood. Reusing the building supplied an opportunity to create an intimately detailed, pedestrian-centric bank that otherwise would have been dwarfed by a bigger project. Throughout the project, the client held three goals in mind:
- Design a highly visible building, with transparency and branding, to create visual interest on a busy corner and attract new users to the bank.
- Provide more accessible banking services and provide traditional services in new ways to attract a new generation of client.
- Establish a bank that is central to the neighborhood so pedestrians can easily approach and access services without having to enter the facility.
This project successfully fulfilled each goal. Branding is at the essence of the building, and it was outfitted with new technology that provided extended banking services and walk-up access. The interior utilizes a blue and green color palette, staying consistent among other branch locations. The new brick exterior echoes the language of the existing masonry home, with new metal paneling to evoke North Shore Bank’s brand. Signage was another important aspect. The North Shore Bank logo can be viewed from all exterior angles, making it a visible beacon on a small corner of Milwaukee.
The design also features new technology. Interactive teller machines (ITMs) were placed in and outside the building to solidify it as a pedestrian-friendly facility. The ITMs also provides customers with extended access to banking services without the need to enter the bank. The ITMs not only benefit customers but North Shore as well, limiting the number of employees needed on-site, ultimately reducing overhead costs.