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  Members Choice Credit Union, Page 60Members Choice Credit Union
Turner & Bair Architects, LLP - 333 Cypress Run, #350, Houston, TX 77094

Katy, Texas
Total Square Feet: 4,000
Construction Period: Feb 2001 TO July 2001

Construction Team
General Contractor: Raus Construction, Ltd. - 1181 Brittmore, #100, Houston, TX 77043
Structural Engineer: PSS Partnership, Inc. - 6117 Richmond, #250, Houston, TX 77057
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: The PDC Group - 19215 Sapphire Circle, Magnolia, TX 77355

Members Choice Credit Union opened its first free-standing branch facility of the Houston-based financial association that currently contracts with 130 companies such as Conoco, Inc., Sysco Foods, Landmark Graphics, Mustang Engineering and Sam's Club to provide financial services for their employees. Credit Union officials selected Turner & Bair Architects, LLP, a Houston-based firm that has over 25 years of experience designing facilities for financial institutions, to develop a master plan and architectural design for the new branch.

A key component in the architectural team's assignment was to produce a prototype design that would enhance the credit union's marketing strategy of producing a series of small, full-service credit union branches over the next few years, all easily identified as "Members Choice" by clients and the general public. Because all the future sites will be similar in size to this project, the architect's challenge was to develop a prototype with identifiable features that do not overpower the structure or viewer.

Architectural elements such as a distinctive column structure, inverted V-shaped roofline, and front portico were incorporated along with a color scheme featuring red brick and green metal roofing in the new branch prototype's facade. A second structure serving as a five-lane covered drive-through service area sits directly behind the main building and features the same red-bricked columns and green roofing. The drive-through area features the same inverted v-shaped roofing lines of the main building, giving the look of two puzzle pieces that are about to be connected. Consistency in design and placement of signage will also contribute to the visual continuity and establishment of a recognizable architecture for the association.

On the interior, the architectural focus was to give a small, defined area a spacious look while maximizing the functionality of the space. This was accomplished by utilizing a vaulted ceiling and an open lobby where branch manager and loan officer workspaces are created through the use of modular partitions. The 7-foot partitions produce cubicle spaces as an alternative to walled-in offices that would obstruct the expansive visual lines established by the vaulted ceiling. In addition, the cubicle design also offers flexibility for the future reconfiguration needs. The vaulted ceiling not only gives the area an airy feel, but allows for the placement of a clerestory to disperse natural, indirect lighting throughout the lobby. Additional lighting is provided from tubular fixtures that are suspended from the ceiling and run lengthwise across the span of the lobby.

In addition to the lobby/teller area and cubicle office spaces for the branch manager and loan officers, the facility features a break room, workroom and auxiliary spaces.

DIV 04: Masonry: Boral Brick. 
DIV 07: EIFS: Dryvit; Metal Roofing: MBCI. 
DIV 08: Entrances & Storefronts: Vistawall. 
DIV 09: Carpet: Patcraft; VCT: Mannington.

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