FIRST WESTERN TRUST BANK
Jackson, Wyoming • 3,138 sq. ft.
Design Team: Chris Moulder AIA
For this tenant improvement project, the architect was asked to improve the unfinished interior office space in a new building for First Western Trust, a well-established, high-end money management firm who wanted a unique, dynamic office for their Jackson, Wyoming location. From a contractor’s perspective the biggest problem was that the existing, yet newly constructed building was hopelessly out of plumb and level. The 3,000 square feet of floor space was as much as three inches out of level, which required the contractor to scribe the walls in to fit with the floor, taking a multitude of measurements since no wall would be the exact same height.
The two main design challenges were that the leasable space had random structural components that would have to be designed around and the space had many acute angles and awkward pinch points that were not conducive to a productive work space. All of the tenants on the second floor of the building shared restrooms that were off the main corridor and those spaces bisected First Western’s square footage, effectively cutting it in half and only allowing for accessibility to both halves on the south side of the building.
A hallway linking the two areas with typical right angles would have felt sharp and closed in so the design solution was to create a gracious curved hallway bringing clients from the reception area in front to the private banker’s offices in the back. A curved pathway on the floor with matching curved ceiling soffit provide a signature ambiance and created the design theme for the entire project.
For the individual offices, the architect continued softening the existing hard-edged angles of the space by designing an elliptical circulation area from which radiated offices with curved, transparent glass partition walls that contribute to the open floor plan and allow the interior office spaces to enjoy natural light while providing views of the stunning landscape from every room in the space.
The front area includes a curved reception desk and natural gas fireplace with a curved stone face, as well as two conference rooms which can be used individually or combined when needed. The very interior of the office houses a spacious employee break/work room with abundant countertops and storage cabinets.
The final build out incorporated warm colors and textures and finishes with a contemporary tone. Clear cherry wood paneling, ripped into strips and separated by an aluminum channel detail is a modern stylized version of log and chink siding, consistent with the history of Jackson Hole. The meandering pathway through the hard edged existing structure is symbolic of the Snake River traveling through the hard rock Snake River Canyon, just south of town.
The First Western Trust, Jackson Hole branch is truly identifiable within the larger corporation, yet makes sense for its locale and the firm is often complimented on their distinctive, modern, welcoming, beautiful office.