Lake Trust Credit Union


Lake Trust Credit Union Headquarters

Brighton, Michigan

100,000 SF | 9,300 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Lighting Design

Sustainable Programs
LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations (NC) (LEED-NC)-Certified

Business Development Project of the Year by Ann Arbor SPARK, 2014, Construction & Design Award, Special Issue - Best of Michigan Construction

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“I was truly impressed by the knowledge in the room. SmithGroupJJR’s architects and engineers were so detailed and informed. I had the utmost confidence in the team we assembled and was in awe of the process you lead.”

—Terri Guastella, Lake Trust Credit Union Project Manager & Administrator


Following the recent merger of two leading credit unions, Lake Trust Credit Union was eager to create a new headquarters for its members and employees that would unite the cultures of the two organizations and forge a shared vision of an “un-bank” financial institution. It selected a 16-acre site with rolling topography of woodlands and wetlands for its new home.

Rather than present design solutions, SmithGroupJJR worked with Lake Trust to guide the project team through interactive design workshops that would shape their new workplace. The result is a 100-percent open environment, with senior leadership working alongside team members in open workstations. A grand central stair with stadium seating bisects a three-story atrium and anchors the entire space, a unifying element where associates circulate and interact. The design also capitalizes on the property’s natural beauty, blurring the lines between interior and exterior. A two-story front porch, second-floor balcony, outdoor dining and conferencing terrace with wetland views all contribute to Lake Trust’s unconventional culture and “un-bank” vision.

This design-build project was led by The Christman Company, which provided a wide array of development, program management and construction management services. Christman and SmithGroupJJR led a pre-design Purposeful Facilities and Workplace Strategy process to help set key organizational culture, employee engagement, operational capabilities, and collaboration goals. Interior Environments partnered with the team to provide the furniture solution. 

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