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China Bank reopens Binondo Branch welcomes clients to restored branch lobby


China Bank’s original head office in Binondo was officially reopened to the public on January 28, 2021, with the transfer of the Binondo Business Center (BBC) Cash Department to the restored lobby of the historic building.

Customers who were used to the former low ceiling interiors and louvered walls were amazed to see how grand and airy the restored lobby looks. Center Head Jeannette Chan and all the China Bankers at BBC are proud and excited to work in such a beautifully restored building, soon to be declared a heritage site by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and an "important cultural property" by the National Museum.

"We have been getting a lot of compliments and praises from our clients. A lot of them even expressed their gratitude to the Bank for undertaking this project and helping revitalize Binondo," Chan said.

"Clients like the new branch and are amazed with the transformation. They tell me that it looks like a modernized classical building. The branch setup looks like you're in a hotel, and from the outside, it's as if you are in Europe," said Branch Operations Head Marivic Tan.

The restoration of China Bank’s original head office in Binondo, built in 1924, started in 2018. The Bank engaged Noche + Architects to lead the monumental project of restoring the building to its original architecture by German architect Julius Arthur Niclaus Gabler Gumbert, and making it more resilient.

Binondo Heritage Restoration Project

Outside, the China Bank building is every inch a neo-classical beauty even at night (photo above); inside, original architectural elements from a bygone era blend cohesively with the modern fixtures and lighting (photo on the left and below).
Due to the enhanced community quarantine imposed by the government in 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19, construction was halted and completion got delayed. Construction resumed in earnest when the quarantine restrictions were relaxed, and the Bank was able to celebrate its centennial in August 2020 with the unveiling of the restored façade.

"During construction, we served customers in the annex building. They were as excited as we were to see the progress and could hardly wait for all the scaffoldings to come down. When we finally transferred back here, some of our clients commented, ‘Wow! It’s worth the wait’, and it makes us so proud and happy," said Chan.

Construction work in the upper levels is ongoing, with the full restoration of the seven-story building, including the China Bank museum in the former executive offices in the 4th floor and the final finishing touches, expected to be completed within the year.

Binondo Heritage Restoration Project

Binondo Heritage Restoration Project

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