Fine Art at First Coastal Bank / by Trish Garrett Fox

10,000 Square Feet
Manhattan Beach, CA - Flagship Branch Office

BRIEF: Since the late 1950s, the banking office at the corner of Eighteenth Street and Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach, CA has been a distinguished local landmark. The familiar eye-catching building, designed by world renowned architect Craig Ellwood, is a striking example of mid-century minimalism in which the structure was the primary expression of architecture.

PLAN: When the bank adapted the building for its Manhattan Beach office, care was taken to preserve the integrity of Ellwood's design and respect the simplicity and purity of the materials and structural elements that give the building its character. The same attention was paid to the fine art that is installed throughout the banking office.

PROCESS: Works of art were carefully selected to complement the dramatic volume of space, the clean lines and simple color palette that Ellwood combined to create an enduring structure.


  1. A kinetic mobile: "Untitled" 15' x 4', aluminum and lacquer was placed over the teller line creating intimacy in the 2-story volume of space.
  2. The mobile draws attention to the signature glass wall of the building and is well enhanced by the natural light. The top of the mobile (not seen) is painted white, so that it reflects light upward and out to the larger volume of space.
  3. Also shown: "Square in Orbit" 50/75, 39" x 39", Silkscreen, on Back Wall; Series #13, #14 & #18" in one frame 37" x 76", original acrylic on paper, in Boardroom; "Untitled I, II, III", 25" x 25" original oil bar on paper, in Small Conference Room.
First Coastal Bank


  1. After over half a century, Craig Ellwood's 1950s distinguished landmark, originally designed as a bank, houses a new bank's flagship office in Manhattan Beach.
  2. The kinetic, light weight, aluminum mobile gently floats, in a focal area; welcoming clients at the first opportunity, the bank's employees have, to make contact, at the teller line.
  3. At 25 pounds, the weight of this 15' x 4', floats elegantly above the teller line and does not add stress to the structural elements.