Hiawatha National Bank
Historically, bank buildings were often built on a grand scale. With imposing interior spaces and clarity of purpose, these structures were designed to evoke a sense of wonder and inspire confidence in their stability as a social institution.
The client aimed to combine the grandeur of historical banks with a respect for the more modest vernacular farmstead construction typical in the region. Hiawatha National Bank has a century-old tradition of operating community banks in the upper Midwest and was created to serve both as a local retail banking outlet and as headquarters for the ownership team.
The choice of thick limestone masonry walls and heavy timber accents provides a strong connection to the landscape and to the historic context of surrounding agrarian farmsteads. Hiawatha has a legacy of serving as a business and social focal point within their local communities. Thus the landscape was envisioned as a park-like campus with native gardens and outdoor rooms for events.
On the building, interior exposed glulam timber structure, wood-clad walls, and large glass curtain walls create inviting and comfortable spaces infused with abundant natural daylight. An open wood, steel, and glass staircase serves as a central focal point within the two-story main atrium. On the second floor a variety of conference and office spaces wrap around the light-filled central atrium. Glass doors provide access to a green roof placed above the teller drive-thru canopy.
Hiawatha Bank is committed to serving clients with disabilities, so great care was taken to create grand yet dignified spaces that convey a sense of welcome and belonging to customers and to the community at large.