Educational Systems Federal Credit Union
ESFCU needed to relocate its headquarters building from Bladensburg, MD and planned to shut down its existing branch office. It envisioned creating a new branch in a location more convenient for existing members and more likely to attract the attention of prospective members in Bowie, MD.
The credit union hired Overton & Associates to design and construct its new branch. In our initial discussions, we explored the client’s various goals. They wanted to create a warm and welcoming environment for members and a larger space for staff and business operations. But they also wanted to create an environment that would help sell the institution's non-transactional products.
We designed a unique floor plan centered around a dramatic circular concept, with a service desk positioned near the front door. The lobby is flooded with natural light from clerestories, while a variety of planes and angles add to the visual interest of the space. One of the most effective elements of the new facility is the strategic design and placement of merchandising throughout the branch.
The plan also includes a children’s play area carefully sited away from the front door, and where members can keep their children in sight while they conduct business. To further increase the aesthetic appeal of the floor plan, the curved lines of the central area are repeated in other aspects of the office. In addition to being located in a more visible and accessible location than the institution’s former office, the new building has three drive-through lanes, including an ATM lane for the convenience of members.
Prior to the project, Nahid Moghadam, ESFCU’s VP of Member Services, had worked with Overton on various efforts over the course of almost 10 years. “Overton is very easy to work with,” she notes, “and the whole experience has been very positive. They listened to our comments, made the requested changes and presented revised plans.” Feedback from members has been very positive as well, Ms. Moghadam adds, and even the staff at the service desk have remarked on the enhanced sense of privacy they feel in the new facility.