Laminate Casework


Name: Custom Millcraft Corp.

Cincinnati, OH

Year Established: 1985

No. of Employees: 23

Shop Size: 25,000 sq ft

Specialty: Architectural casework, cabinetry and retail fixtures.

The brilliant blue swirl pattern on the coffee bar and other areas is created using Baltic Fresco laminate AB141-S. Customers at the futuristically-designed credit union can enjoy a down-home “cup of joe� and choose from an array of magazines while they wait for service.

Credit Union ‘Banks’ on a Winning Contemporary Design

One bank’s futuristic design approach wins in the laminate casework category.

By Lisa Whitcomb

The thoughtful ambiance of providing traditional customer service is not lost in the new futuristic-looking Truliant Federal Credit Union, fabricated by Custom Millcraft Inc. Project manager Chris Steege says that the bank’s designers, DEI Inc., “have created an artistic, unique banking environment. This non-traditional-looking bank, targeted to young professionals, offers a relaxed atmosphere, thereby creating a welcoming appearance to the store.�In addition, the bank’s overall design offers the comforts of home, with a coffee bar, magazine rack, Internet access and two information kiosks, while at the same time fostering a professional business atmosphere. “I like the overall design of it, because it is visually interesting,� Steege says. The project was named top winner in the Design Portfolio Awards laminate casework category.


DEI is an architectural design firm that creates unique environments,like this one, for banks and credit unions. Truliant’s sign follows the same curvaceous design theme that is repeated throughout the bank. The 9-foot-high entry portal is laminated in Formica Decometal’s matte aluminum dots #2047.

Steege says that the credit union occupies a very long, narrow space and the designers utilized this space optimally by integrating a curved form on virtually everything in the bank, beginning with the entry portal. “Though every space is open in appearance,� he says, “the fixtures hide private locations for writing checks, banking transactions and personal consultations.�

To keep the ultra-clean and modern look fluid, Steege adds, “We integrated a lot of equipment inside the fixtures such as printers, monitors, the coffee machine, as well as all of the plumbing and electrical.�

Laminates used in the project include Nevamar’s Sienna Essence ES-2-3T, Pionite’s Cinnamon Fiber AT241, Baltic Fresco AB141-S, Chemetal’s brushed aluminum #702 and Formica Decometal’s matte aluminum dots #2047. The laminates are featured in the teller’s line, entry portal, coffee bar and information kiosks, as well as wall paneling and miscellaneous cabinetry.

Although most of the casework was very large, Steege says the shop built almost everything as single units, which were 12 feet long by 5 feet wide and 4 feet high. Steege says he used AutoCAD drawings to look at the design in many different ways to figure out how Custom Millcraft could build and assemble the pieces.

“Due to the radius shape of all the fixtures, they were fabricated with particleboard and bending lauan,� he says. Most of the construction was done by fabricating template parts or ribbed parts on the shop’s Morbidelli point-to-point machine, from SCM. After that, all materials were assembled and hand laminated. Steege notes that there was a lot of hand and bench work, more so than with a standard cabinet job. “It was all hand sprayed and hand pressed,� he says.

The most unusual and interesting feature of the project for Steege was the fact that there were not many flat surfaces. “The [fluid] design really lent itself to being premachined and post-laminated,� he says. “Almost every fixture had an oval, wave or curve. There weren’t many flat surfaces on the pieces. All of the horizontal surfaces were also cut in a radius or such.�

Custom Millwork’s superb craftsmanship on the project is a testament to the success of DEI’s design principles, Steege says. The end result of the coalition between the two firms is a facility so visually pleasing, it should keep today’s customers coming back tomorrow.

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