AKA: Seattle 1st National Bank, Incorporated, Branch, Bellevue, WA; Seafirst Bank, Branch, Bellevue, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - banks (buildings)

Designers: Mithun and Nesland, Ridenour and Cochrane, Architects (firm); Donald Chilcott Cochran (architect); Omer L. Mithun (architect); Harold Jennings Nesland Jr. (architect); William Clyde Ridenour (architect)

Dates: constructed 1955

1 story

Bellevue, WA

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Mithun and Nesland, Ridenour and Cochrane won a 1958 Award of Merit for this Seattle 1st National Bank Bellevue Branch. The building was a cube of glass, with thin supports providing a rhythm comparable to the columns of a Greek temple.The interior banking room had tall ceilings, whose glass walls admitted abundant light and passive solar energy the year around. To reflect intense summer light, the upper windows were double glazed to reflect high-angle rays and a pool of water on the flat roof provided reflectivity. According to an article in the Architectural Forum: "The result, surprisingly, is that the all-glass bank can be comfortably lighted, heated and cooled at considerably less expense than many conventional buildings in the area. Some of the savings are used to light up the bank as an advertisement at night." (See "Glass Bank," Architectural Forum, 07/1958, vol 109, no. 1, p. 115.) The banking room itself became a sign advertising the bank's modernity and metaphorical transparency. Its design also harkened back, in abstracted and distilled form, to templar bank forms familiar across the US in the early 20th century.

PCAD id: 18542