The Barwa Bank branch design concept has been one of the most challenging projects that Crea International has ever developed: designing the most progressive Islamic bank of the future, showcasing either modernity and coolness strongly rooted with the tradition of the country was the brief assigned by the client. The objective was to propose an environment aimed to customers more and more familiar with most innovative technologies, a bank thought where people would feel comfortable and welcome in an retail environment close to the fashion mid market luxury.
“Through the methodology of Physical Brand Design, Crea International team approached the project in a very logical and structured way: “In the first place, we look into the history and traditions of the country to get familiar with the components Qatari people felt very belonging to their culture and were proud of. We also analysed throughout the mission of Barwa Bank and the values it stands for, and finally we looked at the banking models both in Western and Middle East countries to build a strong point of difference and a gap with the current models, as claims Viviana Rigolli, strategy director of the project.
To ensure real distinctiveness versus such current banking models and to build the most innovative bank, Crea International designed a new service standard: only a central banking area hosting multifunctional comfortable workstations where the bank assistant can seat close or in front of his client looking together at touch screen table, where all banking functions can be performed with total transparency and almost paperless.
The final result is a delicate balance between tangibility, simplicity, intuitive space fruition of the service model together with the warm but still precious environment and design that characterizes the banking space.
Libero Rutilo, design director of project sheds light on the creative process undertaken:
“The original inspiration came both from the landscape of Qatar and its nature: the dunes inspired the smooth shapes mixed with clear cut geometrical lines, the flowers of the desert with their delicate colours were source of inspiration for being symbol of energy and growth, the mother pearl and the finely carved architectural walls became the main components to translate the precious
approach we wanted Barwa Bank to deliver.
The bank would just be like a treasure chest: the centre of the branch hosts the precious blossom flower of the desert around which orbit as petals, a series of working stations where the main bank activities sheltering the growth of the country are operated. The mother pearl luminescence dresses the whole space to capture the Qatari colours, while the inlays with Islamic arabesque run along the perimeter walls.
Resin, Corian and Barrisol get together to give birth to a fluid natural and morphological shaped architectural box which apart from hiding technology, it imparts to the bank store a unique, cosy and enfolding environmental identity. Clients can freely browse within the branch and do not need to take a seat to queue while waiting their turn: each client is welcome by a butler who registers his priority of attendance, while letting take a look at the interactive tables showcasing all banking new products or at the innovative electronic devices displayed at the entrance”.
Finally a fully transparent shop front characterizes Barwa Bank: no posters, no displays, the bank innovative design is its best communication to announce the arrival of a new bank in town.
To strengthen this uniqueness of Barwa Bank all atm machines and mobile branches have been developed with the same strong design approach. The flower, iconic symbol of Barwa Bank is now blossoming through out Qatar to deliver top quality service to clients.
Massimo Fabbro, Ceo of Crea International comments the project result achieved:
“I am extremely proud of the design concept of Barwa Bank. The service model innovation developed for Barwa is breaking the rules of current retail banking models: it introduces a free flow and browsing approach and integrates and expands the self banking model one hand and strengthens the consultancy approach on the other.
The final result is feasible either from the quality of design and the kind of service experience which are perceived as a fully integrated experience driven by our unique Physical Brand Design projectual methodology“.
concept supervisor: Massimo Fabbro
design director: Libero Rutilo
architect: Nicola Golfari
strategy director: Viviana Rigolli
lead graphic designer: Sonia Micheli
graphic designer: Giuseppe Liuzzo
project management: Tanween
general contractor: Bnaider
Crea International is a multi-disciplinary design company, a Thinking Lab that executes ‘Sense making’ projects for branded architectural spaces, and whose Visual and Styling work is supported by comprehensive strategic planning and research.
Working through the unique method of ‘physical brand design’, our strength lies in integrating our extensive knowledge and experience in the delivery of strategically relevant and commercially successful brand experiences for our clients, by bringing the spirit and philosophy of the brand ‘to life’ within the space, expressing its true soul.
Our most prominent area of work is the retail sector, with particular strength in the banking & financial services sector and the telecommunications sector. However we work across an array of sectors including land & air transport, fashion & beauty, entertainment (hotels, restaurants, commercial centers), workplace (office, corporate facades, reception) and fast branding (event space, brand experience, exhibition, temporary shops).
Crea’s approach is founded on a broad, multidisciplinary notion that draws into the organization a wide range of professional languages, diverging experiences, miscellaneous and eclectic workgroups, consisting of professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Our projects feature the dynamic and zestful integration of design –architecture and interior design – brand strategy – consumer strategy –environmental graphics –in-store communication – multi-sensory applications–interactive solutions
Founded in 2002 Crea International, headquartered in Milan, is continually advancing on the international market with representative offices in Rome, Lebanon and Greece.
Founders and stakeholders of Crea are
Alberto Pasquini (Chairman),
Massimo Fabbro (Managing Partner).