The Auto Workers Community Credit Union (AWCCU) is a locally owned and controlled financial co-operative founded in 1938 for auto workers and their families. Profits are used to enhance products and services or returned to the Membership, adding value to the community and enhancing pride of ownership among members.
Originally mostly solid, the elevation facing oncoming traffic on the busy one way street is now a luminous composition of channel glass and clear glazing that embodies the openness of the AWCCU to the larger community.
Signage elements are incorporated as integral design components: the street façade slides out as a perforated aluminum plane to become a backdrop for their logo; another sign projects from a concrete wall that leads to the main entrance. Inside the banking hall, a warm palette of rift cut oak creates an open, visually accessible environment, at the centre of which sits an elliptical form bisected by an oak screen, with the reception desk on one side and a waiting/reference area on the other. Staff is now all on one floor, facilitating contact with members.
Both day and night were considered in the design. At night, the building is transformed into a glowing composition of transparent and translucent elements, as the perforated metal sign becomes luminous, lit from both front and behind, and the windows and channel glass emit a warm, inviting light.
The newly renovated building stands out as an elegant landmark in Oshawa. One of the most striking elements is the discovery, as one moves along the street façade, of the void framing a view of the sky between the body of the building and the perforated metal sign.