First Bank’s new regional Raleigh headquarters building reflects the company’s straightforward approach to providing advanced financial expertise in a personal, trusted way that has been the hallmark of the institution since openings its doors in 1935.
Located just South of the popular North Hills neighborhood, the project is situated in order to balance visibility and ease of use. The building, which is just under 20,000 SF and three floors, is pushed up to meet its Six Forks Rd. frontage. Its clear glass facade advertises the vibrant mood inside the building, a living billboard of sorts.
BUILDING FOR A NEW NORMAL
First Bank’s commitment to hospitality and the customer experience is made clear in the first floor branch space. Situated closest to Six Forks Rd. and clearly visible through its open and glassy façade, the branch layout and location are readily apparent to passers by and to customers who are approaching the building for the first time. The space is made warm and inviting by an illuminated wood-finished wall, consistent natural light and comfortable furniture settings, and the glass front offices and wide open layout means that no visitor or customer can go un-seen or un-served by First Bank staff. Other branch amenities like meeting spaces and an area for coffee & water are close at hand should a customer need them.
The branch space embraces more progressive retail banking design strategies like the use of teller pods in lieu of a traditional teller line for a more concierge type feeling, however mainstays like checking writing stations are still present, in simpler forms, so that no customer’s experience is confusing or disorienting. Each piece of banking furniture or equipment was also carefully considered for its long term flexibility, so that as customer’s habits and preferences change, the branch space can be readily adaptable.
Each of the approx. 6,000 SF upper floors is devoted to office space for First Bank’s lending, mortgage, wealth management and insurance groups and for regional leadership. Private offices are provided for all employees, for privacy and in recent months, for the health and safety of the workplace. However, the office’s full glass fronts foster connectivity between employees and between those private work spaces and the more open, shared amenities on each floor. Large and small conference rooms, an open, café style break room and a second floor roof terrace are concentrated in one area to encourage engagement among First Bank employees and to serve as spaces for customer meetings and events when needed.