Oriental inspired graphic patterns based on Transvaal, the multi-cultural neighborhood where Rabobank is located, cover the meeting room glass
Storeage, the Amsterdam based retail design agency, has created a new concept for Rabobank Den Haag’s retail banking center. The concept will be rolled out to other Rabobank stores, with the possibility to personalize the design by adding regional flair. Storeage’s task was to create a design that balances Rabobank’s customers’ need for transparency and privacy with a warm, welcoming feel. The design also underscores Rabobank’s core business: banking, investing and providing financial advice, while highlighting its strong commitment to technology, innovation and local relevance.
Free-standing circular meeting rooms are created out of glass to emphasize transparency
“The financial crisis drove banks back to their core, providing financial services to their consumers and doing this in a trustworthy way. Versus being merely a façade, the storefront became again the entrance to the safe haven a bank should be. ” said Leendert Tange, partner and co-founder of Storeage. “Rabobank is a close and personal bank that is committed to its local communities. Our design lets the bank stay true to itself, bringing these core values to the forefront, while still emphasizing the bank’s innovative drive. With this design Rabobank is saying ‘banking is what we did, do and will be doing for future years to come, please be welcome.’”
The Den Haag store features a glass façade with a massive traditional wooden door, emphasizing both the bank’s transparency and its strength and reliability. Inside the store is divided into two main areas: one is focused on financial advice and personal service, and the other on modern banking and automation. Throughout the interior various graphic treatments and patterns reflect the local areas of Den Haag.
Upon entering, the customer is welcomed by a host posted at a sleek wooden counter shaped like a golf club. The welcome area features a plushly furnished lounge area complete with a selection of iPads to promote online banking. The wooden counter connects the two main parts of the store and guides customers along an interactive technology wall towards the personal service area.
The service area features wood walls, folded like a curtain, warm colored carpets and a lower ceiling to create a warm context for the free-standing circular glass meeting rooms. Privacy in these meeting rooms is assured by the use of curtains inside. The void spaces between the meeting rooms provide areas for the staff’s work desks and areas for semi-private client meetings. Everything is out in the open, easy to access and connect with.
Privacy can be assured by the use of curtains inside
The main feature of the modern banking area is the interactive “smart wall”. A row of touch screens lines a display wall, showcasing Rabobank’s campaigns, financial information, activities in the community, and internet banking.
“Although internet banking is hugely popular these days, Rabobank feels strongly that its customers still need personal advice and service,” said Martijn Hoogendijk, lead designer on the project.
“True to it’s promise as the close and personal bank, Rabobank also wants to be the bank committed to helping those still facing difficulties with Internet banking due to lack of language skills or age. The smart wall is an instrument to get these customers comfortable with the use of digital banking tools.”
Below the smart wall, a sleek wooden counter connects the two parts of the store by guiding consumers to the meeting area
The personalized regional flair used for Den Haag comes to life in four graphic themes, etched into the meeting room glass and on the walls behind ATMs:
• Transvaal: This is the multi-cultural neighborhood in Den Haag where this Rabobank center is located. The Transvaal theme is represented in oriental style graphic patterns.
• Mesdag: Panorma Mesdag is a famous Dutch 360 degree panorama painting of Scheveningen (part of Den Haag) and its environs – the city extending out to the sand dunes and sea. Graphics based on the painting cover the entire circular glass of the meeting rooms.
• Hofstad: “Court city” in Dutch, is another name for Den Haag given that it is home to Dutch parliament. This theme is represented by a graphic interpretation of wooden cassette wall paneling typically seen in old society boardrooms and gentleman’s clubs.
• Royalty: The working palace of the Dutch queen is situated in Den Haag. The royalty theme is seen in the lounge area with a luxurious orange sofa and easy chairs upholstered in royal blue velour.
“Each Rabobank store can personalize our design based on what makes sense for their region,” said Hoogendijk. “This sends the message that the bank is truly a local player, committed to customers in each of its regions.”
Photography by Dim Balsem