Credit Direct Limited (CDL) is one of the fastest growing micro-lending finance companies in Nigeria, providing unsecured (payroll lending) microcredit facilities to low to medium income earners. Situated in Ikeja district of Lagos in Nigeria, the new headquarters for CDL consolidates its various facilities into a single building that redefines the conventional notion of a bank building as a closed and private institution, by creating a more approachable, open and civic space to meet the needs of its customers – the everyday people.

The specific tropical climate of Lagos suggests an alternative approach to designing a building with distinct private and public functions. A conditioned volume containing the most public functions – efficiently enclosed and protected to reduce heat gain – is suspended above the ground floor comprising an auditorium, entrance lobby and service block. The top floors with more private function have a transparent envelope which increases the opportunity of views and natural ventilation. The envelope is protected by a generous folded roof plate that also harvests rainwater.

These distinct spaces are connected in a continuous loop that starts with a lush garden on the ground level leading up to a roof garden via an open walkway, connecting the various functions and providing direct access to the restaurant café. The courtyard brings abundant natural daylight into the heart of the building and its character reduces boundaries between inside and outside to create a communal, contemporary and civic atmosphere. CDL microfinance bank building makes a banking facility more open to people.