Great Western Savings Bank/Van Nuys Savings (c. 1957)
Van Nuys, California
This uniquely curving roofed structure was built as a branch bank for Great Western Savings at the center of the shopping district for Panorama City, which was an enormous 1948 housing tract developed by Kaiser Community Homes. The architect for the design was W.A. Sarmiento of the Bank Building & Equipment Corporation of America. On the interior, there is a stainless-steel rail, spiral staircase that leads to a mezzanine. Sarmiento featured this type of staircase in many projects but always with different materials and treatments, such as this one with floating treads cantilevered from a curving beam. The interior also features custom light fixtures and designed wood sound and light baffles. The general contractor for the project was George O. Chapman of Van Nuys. Today, the vault serves as a showcase for a built-in sofa.
Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the WeekPhoto credit: Kirk Huffaker