BMO - Nesbitt Burns

Location: Lethbridge, AB

Year: 2013

Status: Complete

Type: Commercial

Client: Nesbitt Burns

Alvin Reinhard Fritz Architect Inc. (ARFAi) was commissioned to designed a flagship office for the Bank of Montreal on the corner of 6th Street and 4th Avenue South in Lethbridge. Although the Bank of Montreal provided an extensive programming and design criterion, we were able to offer substantial input towards the structure's overall concept.

Thorough site analysis determined that the building should be oriented towards the high profile northwest corner of the site. In order to mitigate wind concerns at the front entrance, conifers, which have the natural ability to absorb the kinetic energy of the wind, were located beside the front entrance.

In addition, the Bank of Montreal Investment Firm required a permanent office adjacent to the existing main branch. The proximity would provide their clientele banking convenience as well as introduce existing BMO clients to their wealth management services.

As the exterior finishes utilized on the main branch were no longer available, the glazed atrium design provided the needed aesthetic separation. The design flows in its modern style, complimenting the existing bank while providing a new, inviting storefront off 6th Street South. The atrium adds definition to the substantial new façade, while at the same time providing natural light to the interior offices.

The bold canopy at the new entrance catches the eye with its timeless brand. The signage is easily recognizable from both 4th and 5th Avenue, maximizing the bank's centrality and proximity to other service providers. The facility has proven to be well-used, providing a convenient and accessible design to foot traffic.

The BMO Nesbitt Burns expansion, in its final expression, is well-integrated and exciting new addition to its successful presence in the Lethbridge downtown core. The project is a successful addition to ARFAi's previous work, proving the longevity and synergy of the Client/Constultant team.

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