Frank Henry’s design, a graceful combination of curving solid masonry and stone walls with floor-to-ceiling curving glass walls — convex on the north, concave on the east — create a prow pointing to Camelback Mountain, all unified by a strong overhead roof that appears to float above clerestory windows.   The effect of a floating overhead ceiling was achieved in creative collaboration between Mr. Henry and the structural engineer, Chuck Magadini.

mushroom-designThe most recognized elements of the building are its six circular concrete shade canopies, the dendriform columns or “mushrooms,” and the two water features in the landscaped parking area.  There are five similar dendriform columns inside the bank, supporting the roof above the banking floor.  Together, they create the illusion of a dendriform grove into which this poetic pinwheel plan of a bank was inserted.  The contractor for the precast concrete work was Perry Wells, a frequent collaborator with Mr. Henry, who achieved an unusual level of precision with a customized curing process.  The columns are distant cousins to Frank Lloyd Wright’s slender tapering concrete columns at the Johnson Wax Headquarters (circa 1936) in Racine, Wisconsin.

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