Branch Projects
American Lake Credit Union

The Challenge

Transform an aging facility into a flagship branch for American Lake Credit Union, helping them attract a younger demographic while remaining comfortable for existing members, and design an operations space within the branch that enables back office staff to work more effectively.

Project BackgroundAmerican Lake Credit Union Branch Transformation Design - Before and After

American Lake Credit Union was growing and in the process of a five year expansion strategy that required an updated branch network and a bigger, more comfortable operations space. The credit union wanted a branch design that welcomes their new field of membership and transforms their image in the community to that of an open and welcoming financial institution.

To kick off the strategy, they purchased a large but outdated bank branch on a high visibility corner. Their goal was to tie the branch network together and create a bold presence in the community. The location was great and the 4,000 square foot building was large enough to support both the new flagship branch and an operations space, but the facility was in bad shape and in serious need of a complete renovation.

Midpoint between Old and New

Momentum worked with American Lake Credit Union to come up with a design that represents the credit union as a trusted resource in the community for both new and existing members. A universal staffing model supports lower transaction volumes with a more consultative focus, and an open layout allows the staff to move around the branch to interact with members and demonstrate the mobile app experience at the tech bar. The new interior is attractive and open with color choices that reflect the American Lake brand and Lakewood history, inviting the community to come in and connect.

A new operations space co-located with the branch gives American Lake’s back office staff breathing room and supports their efforts to innovate and deliver the best possible member service.

Momentum Moment

When American Lake Credit Union acquired this branch the building was in bad shape, an outdated design and poor materials made the prospect of a renovation daunting. But Momentum’s design team came up with unique solutions, removing the tacky roof overhang and replacing the exterior with a lively façade and encasing interior structural supports in wood to give the branch space a more natural appearance.

The transformed branch now looks like a brand new building without the expense of a teardown and rebuild!



We believe that collaboration and open communication are the foundation of successful projects. In the design-build project model, sharing knowledge and ideas is fundamental.

Design-build breaks down barriers between the designer, the builder, and the people who will actually use the building. The team works together to establish a shared vision of success. Everyone is free to contribute their best ideas at the right time, when they have the greatest chance of improving the project. On a design-build project, as team members experience the value of integrating diverse viewpoints, they develop trust. Communication increases. Friction decreases. The project takes on its own forward motion, and the sense of tangible progress makes the process energizing and fun. The end result is better branching and workplace strategies that deliver on our partners’ goal, better relationships, and better buildings.

To learn more about the process, visit our Services page. And don’t forget to check out our Insights page for our latest insights into issues facing credit unions and community banks, from branch transformation strategies to the impact of evolving customer experience demands. We’ve also published a Quick Start Your Branch Transformation Guide with activities that will help you plan and kick off your next project!

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