INTERNATIONAL CURRENCY EXCHANGE, CALGARY
Wednesday 21 Sep 2011

 

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International Currency Exchange opens its first in-line retail store in Market Mall

ICE, International Currency Exchange, has branched out from their usual airport locations into the retail market in key fashion shopping centres. In order to be as visually compelling as its fashion neighbours and to secure prime retail locations, the design of the in-line boutique focused on creating a dynamic experience by challenging conventions of what one would expect from a currency exchange transaction. The concept is bold in its futuristic sculptural forms and elicits curiosity from passersby. White and black contrasts and aerodynamic forms were the basis of the design approach. Kinetic graphics applied to all three walls of the boutique create dynamic tension.

High polished large format porcelain tiles were used to amplify the lighting reflections and wall graphics rebounding from the floor and creating interesting visual illusions. Engineered from lacquered mdf, the white sculptural fins are a powerful statement from the mall corridor. The main counter with concealed LED blue glowing liglht is more evocative of a bar or lounge setting than of a conservative financial service provider. The major challenge was how to create a concept for a financial service provider that had "cool" appeal, yet still had to be taken seriously to reassure customers they are dealing with a stable and trustworthy institution. At a design and security level, the entrance opening was maximized to give an air of accessibility, which challenges conventional security protocol in this type of financial outlet.