Technology has radically altered the operations of banking institutions over the past two decades to the point where they no longer require space for the exchange and storage of wealth, leaving the bank in a condition of excess. The obvious reaction to an excess of space is the elimination of that space, but in this case an argument for the elimination of bank space ignores the historic responsibilities of architecture to give form to ideas. In the case of banks, the idea is one of a stable economy secured by both private capital and public insurance. With the current state of distrust between banking institutions and the public, it is an opportune moment to re-think the role of architecture as an interpreter of the intangible, and in the case of banks, as a mediator between discredited banks and a wary public.

     This thesis investigates the reestablishment of a Bank of the United States following the federalization of the nations largest financial institutions, and the role of architectural representation in reassuring the public of national economic stability. Ideas of financial security through physical impenetrability found in early banks and the metaphorical illusions of institutional transparency expressed in modern banks are no longer relevant means of architecturally representing the contemporary economic landscape. In this new era of post-deregulation and a renewed presence of government oversight, notions of financial security can now be realized through an architectural articulation of the interactions between the public, banking institutions, and the federal government.

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