a monthly round-up of the world's best interiors and design stories
Monday 10 Oct 2011
Landini Associates were approached by Westpac to re-brand their branches Australia wide.
The challenge was to encourage people to go the branches when most transactions are just a click away. The solution was to keep it simple and get back to human values: community, relationships and relevant content.
The aim was to make the branch more real, more human. To create these connections with local community, three different material palettes are utilised. Each palette is specific to the branch's context - city, suburban or regional - and respects the history and individuality of the branch building.
Coming up with a more high-touch solution, not a high-tech solution - technology never working well as a human interface - was the answer. The Kingsford branch makes use of eye-catching signage - referred to as ‘conversation starters' - in a very ‘un-bank' like way, using black boards to advertise the bank's services and introducing employees and the bank manager with the use of photography showing them at their personal interests.
The key design principles of the transformation concept are focused around the areas where customers can be engaged and inspired, and where conversations can be triggered and advice given. Hard surfaces are employed to create acoustic privacy, encouraging customers to chat informally in the open ‘heart' area; this space is multifunctional and can be used for events. In the past, meetings were always conducted in private rooms. Here, comfortable seating and tables create an open
space for initial conversations to take place.
The overall result is an environment that encourages customer staff interaction through human-ising large, previously intimidating financial institutions.