Rainbow mille-feuille: Colorful Bank in Tokyo

Rainbow mille-feuille: Colorful Bank in Tokyo

“We are happy to make you happy” – that’s the motto of the Sugami Shinkin bank in Japan – sounds different from the regular image of a regular bank.  And it looks different too. The new branch of the bank in Tokiwadai and Niiza, Tokyo is designed by a local studio of French architect Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture + designMoureaux, who has been living in Japan for more than a decade, inspired by the Japanese school of design, she created Shikiri – which she defines as “to divide space with color”.

The new bank looks like a giant “rainbow mille-feuille”. The puff-pastry-like building consists of the 12 colorful layers, inviting people passing by or bank clients to look up in the sky, and putting people into a better mood. With a first glimpse at the playful colors clients of the Sugami Shinkin bank will open the door with a smile or at least a better mood. Not only the exterior, everything on the interior too is designed to make you comfortable and forget that you’ve entered a “serious” facility structure. All walls, ceiling and even ATM machines have dandelions illustrations– blow and make a wish, it will come true! 14 different colors – chairs are also part of the cheerful motif. The architect designated the sky as a mood fixer not only outdoors but indoors too – three elliptical skylights each more than a meter in diameter connect the three floors of the bank, bringing daylight in, and circulating the air within the building.

When its night time, the lights of the mille-feuille layers are illuminated with a different intensity depending on the time of the evening and year, giving a change to the building and the landscape.

[Sources: Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture + design,  domus] photos © Nacasa & Partners Inc.]

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