A Modernized Environment for Better Banking


Gardner, MA

3,891 sq. ft. 

To align one of their longest-standing branches with their new modernized locations, GFA Federal Credit Union partnered with NES Group for another exceptional branch transformation.

After undergoing a renovation and addition, GFA’s Main Office had a completely modernized look with bright textiles, trendy furniture, and new training centers—all enhancing the employee experience. Unfortunately, the branch on the main floor did not have the same atmosphere.

Focusing on improving the member experience, GFA wanted to incorporate the universal banker model into the design with an open concept and updated technology. Another critical change involved moving from a traditional teller line to a pod-style environment to improve their delivery method for in-person transactions.

After completing this first branch renovation in 2011, we knew the existing conditions well, so our architectural team got right to work on the new floor plan. With this being one of their busiest locations with heavy foot traffic, we completed this project in two phases using temporary measures to separate the old space from the new, allowing GFA to remain open. Construction consisted of a complete fit-up of ceilings, new finishes, and upgrades to existing building systems.





With a simplified journey, members are welcomed with a spacious lobby with a café and discovery zone, a coin machine, three teller pods, a tech bar, hotel offices for more complex interactions, and a conference room. The interior has the same contemporary aesthetic as their newest branches. Their jewel-toned color palette adds liveliness textiles against the deeply saturated ceiling paired with vibrant textiles and light-colored surfaces, providing visual interest from start to finish. The original custom-designed pod’s intricate geometric scheme was incorporated, creating consistency – and keeping the understated industrial vibe across all locations.

This renovation is part of GFA’s recent efforts to deliver a seamless experience across all branch locations while maintaining their comprehensive history of serving the community of Gardner. We’re proud to have provided the design, architecture, and project management for this exceptional project for our long-standing partners.