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Design Team of the Year Finalist: Volt Credit Union

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It’s been a busy couple of years for Volt Credit Union staff. Not only did they work with Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective to design a new headquarters, the 84-year-old credit union rebranded with a name change from Community Financial Credit Union to Volt.

“That’s one of our favorite things to do – brand a company at the same time we’re actually building their building,” said Brian Kubik, principal, architect and president of Buxton Kubik Dodd. “They wanted to make a complete change from a traditional banking background.”

Volt President and CEO Loretta Roney said her team members used words like “death” and “funeral home” to describe the credit union’s previous headquarters.

“Those are not the descriptive adjectives that you’re looking for. But that’s how Volt took birth,” she said of the 180-degree turn with the new building. “What do we want people to feel? Light and energy and moxie.”

Kubik said the building features open workspaces, a second-floor balcony, coffee bar and bright green branding throughout. His favorite design element is the tower at the northeast corner of the building, which features exposed steel bracing.

Kubik said the location for the building proved to be the biggest challenge, as the first site on East Sunshine Street fell through and Volt officials wanted a prominent location.

The design also required a shift in thinking from a traditional financial institution.

“When you walked in, they wanted it to feel like a coffee lounge,” Kubik said.

Even with a name change mid-design, he said the project went smoothly. “We stayed on budget, and we stayed on time,” he said. “We ended the project and we were all still friends. That doesn’t always happen.”

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