Since its construction in 1924, The Atlas National Bank building had fallen victim to decades of enhancements that concealed and destroyed the original beauty of this once opulent financial institution. A 1980’s renovation did even further damage: removing and penetrating ornate plaster ceilings, concealing original marble floors and walls, and completely hiding an elegant marble staircase and elevator that led to a lower-level private banking area and vault.
A local developer acquired the building with the goal of creating a city-center Class B office building geared towards creatives. The vision centered around a dramatic destination lobby for both tenants and the public. The space was transformed into a luxurious but comfortable lobby and venue for Urbana Café. The renovation included the addition of two large conferencing spaces for tenants.
The design preserves and highlights the charm of the space and its art deco influences: original plaster ceilings were patched and painted deep blue for a dramatic effect; the marble staircase leading to the vault was exposed and cleaned up – awaiting a future project that will include a speakeasy down below; marble floors were polished and patched; and elevator cabs were wrapped in bronze. Custom detailing included gold-leaf elements, an acoustical wood slat-wall, and a mirrored band just below the ceiling that visually extends the space, a nod to the original full volume of the banking floor. To brighten up the exterior, the banal aluminum entrances were replaced with new brass ones and a blue canopy and building signage were added.
Interior Architecture- Large Scale (>5,000 sf)
MEP Engineer - SHP