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Exchange Bank in Sebastopol is a Top Real Estate Project Award winner

The design approach for Exchange Bank’s new branch in Sebastopol melds local and regional features reflecting the rich heritage of its rural surroundings with a contemporary character expressing its modern banking practices.

An informal inventory of existing town buildings showed a diverse range of architectural styles. Without a single theme to guide designers, they decided to investigate Sebastopol’s rich agricultural heritage.

The final design recalls traditional agrarian elements, such as barns, apple dryers, local apple and wine industries, as well as Luther Burbank’s experimental farm outside of town.

Windows, clear-finished exterior wood poles, rustic landscape materials and plantings were selected to support the design concept. Stormwater runoff comes from a single point on the roof and cascades into a strongly expressed rain garden at the building perimeter allowing stormwater to percolate into the soil.

The main shed roof faces southwest, an ideal fitting for rooftop solar panels.

A secondary opposing shed roof provides a canopy sheltering the ATM machine and serves as an entry to the building, according to Don Tomasi, principal with TLCD Architecture.

Substantial entry glazing reinforces the indoor/outdoor relationship, as does the clerestory at the highway side of the building, which facilitates a view of the forested hill beyond, while providing natural light to the interior. Numerous other sustainability best practices are integrated throughout the project.

JMA General Contractors worked with Brelje & Race Consulting Civil Engineers, ZFA Structural Engineers, TEP Mechanical Engineering, Summit Electrical Engineering, and Quadriga Landscape Architects in implementing these improvements.

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