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  • Writer's pictureMichael Firsich

Cozy, Casual, Collegial: Rowland designs new IU Credit Union Operation building

Written by Dawn Olsen

Photography by Michael Firsich

Rowland Design and IU Credit Union are long-term partners. They’ve been together for years, working together on numerous projects. According to Donna Sink, an architect at Rowland, the two are in a “long, happy relationship.” Cheers to them! And cheers to the new IU Credit Union Operations building, which was completed in May 2020.

Design for the IU Credit Union Operations building started in August 2018. Back then, IU Credit Union had an empty site and a vision of a brand-new building. Enter Rowland. They designed the 12,200-square-foot building, which comprises Indiana limestone, metal roof panels, and stucco. (In other words, the building materials are casual, comfortable, and local.)

“The materials are dignified and appropriate, but not overly formal,” said Sink. “IU Credit Union wanted that home-y feel.”

To establish that easy-to-relax feeling, Rowland designed a central core. It’s made for gathering and is best described as a café-like space where employees connect. It’s a good lunch spot, too, thanks to the limestone wall and large windows. Sunlight streams through them, bathing the central core in natural light.

“[IU Credit Union] was very interested in natural light,” said Sink. “They wanted to provide a sense of openness, since many of the employees previously worked in a grocery store that had been renovated. It has a nice interior, but it had a very deep floor plate and therefore not all spaces received enough natural daylight.”

To ensure there was plenty of sunlight, each wing of the IU Credit Union Operations building has a clerestory “spine” that provides daylight from above and defines the circulation path. The open office space also “borrows” sunlight from the private offices, which have exterior windows and interior glass walls. The space is light, bright (thanks in part to the orange carpet), and designed to accommodate employee growth.

“The site the building is on is much bigger than the building itself,” said Sink. Which roughly translates to: “in the future, we can do a second phase and add more wings and, at the same time, strengthen Rowland’s relationship with IU Credit Union.”

Sounds like these long-term partners have each found what they were looking for – a welcoming, collegial credit union and a top-notch architecture firm.

Michael Firsich is an architectural photographer, videographer, and creator of visual marketing content for online and print media. His studio specializes in storytelling through the visual arts of photography and video for architects, designers, and other industry related companies.

©2020 Michael Firsich Photography, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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