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Air bank blows in with the “Agora concept” bank store designed by Crea International within the central European banking market
PPF Group, one of the largest investment and finance groups in Central and Eastern Europe, has committed Crea International, the italian retail design company, to conceive a unique and most distinctive bank store concept within the Central European retail banking scenario, according to the sole Physical Brand Design working philosophy.

The brief assigned by the client was to become brand of choice in banking that customers will talk about with enthusiasm and passion and to propose a new environment searching for new solutions, steping out from ““banking routine””. A bank that firmly wants to know its customers’’ wishes, to make them feel good and loose, sure of what to do, in a friendly, enjoyable and pleasant space, in a sort of community atmosphere of relationship and interaction, to invoke positive mode.

Air Bank “agora’ concept” is a new kind of bank store which aims to be noticed and admired, where people can experience in the name of simplicity, transparency and elegantly easy, with natural and intuitive control, where all the rules have to be understoood by all. A new consultant bank store, not a transactions one more transparent than the others, honest to the customers and itself, capable to drive people in self evident and intuitive landscape with its fast orientation within the store. The customer as protagonist of a new bank trip where he must feel that’’s the unique bank he wants, where receiving the only services he desires, where feeling released always with the consciousness that the bank is doing for him.

Working on the worldwide methodology of Physical Brand Design, Crea International team approached the project in a very organized and structured way : starting from the analysis of the market background in a more and more socialized and digital world dominated by an increasing technology developing new languages and new peer to peer relations, Crea International has focused on the proliferation of new interactive banking channels and the consequent lack of trust in the banking institutions.

In this scenario, as Viviana Rigolli strategy director of the project claims ““Our objective has been to design a no frills space, absolutely essential where the key approach of our service model has been to facilitate the dialogue and trust between airbank and its clients. An open service model with no constraints typical of traditional banking models : here people are invited to take a seat and are free to browse the bank offer and get the bank attendees support if needed. The result of our project is a totally new banking framework focused on the relationship and not the transaction: we believe the overall concept conveys a new perception of doing banking and will get people to adhere to the claim of airbank: “” this is the bank i like “

The final result is not a traditional bank but a real store, with the aim to simplify the complex world of banking, using modern technologies, innovative but simple based on a new service model, paperless with outstanding services following Air Bank values of simplicity, transparency, environmental friendly within the courage to offer the world an extraordinary and never seen bank model. All these features visible even in the simple logo, clean and sharp in a mixture of green and black colours giving freshness, vitality and the sense of renaissance and regeneration.

Andrea Borsetto, design director of the project, sheds light on the creative process : ““ We had to project an open and attractive place to capture people’’s eye, capable to make the customers feel at ease, to surprise but to be simple and easy to understand as the client asked us. The inspiration came from Agora landscape, in ancient Greek an open ““place of assembly””, to create an opened bank, where staff and customer can stay side by side, keeping out from the key points of traditional service models. A place where been really involved into the experience of freedom to browse by oneself,
confort to take a seat and care to have assistance upon a touch in an opened layout as expressly reiterpreted by the agorà concept, to give the store a clear impact and an easy approach.

To do this we have conceived an open squared place with just a multifunctional central area to make the space fruition free, without established functions and frills but only functional elements.
All surrounded by an amphiteater with a stair seating system looking towards the center, where the customers can choose the seating on different levels according to the activity they have to do, discuss and take decision.

Closed and private spaces are reduced in order to avoid any connection to the old world of ““bank offices””.”” Finally a bank speaking a new language,which sets the mark of a really different bank which does not intend to astonish and confuse, but innovate to create value.

Massimo Fabbro, founder and ceo of Crea International, comments below the project result : ““I guess Airbank concept represent a breakthough within european retail banking scenario: a fully peer-to-peer, simple and no-frills banking store, that welcomes customers into an unexpected and friendly enviromment. Thanks to PPF group that challenged us to create a concept whose we are deeply proud of.”

Crea International
project team :
concept supervisor: Massimo Fabbro
design director: Andrea Borsetto
strategy director: Viviana Rigolli
lead architect: Armando Loreti
lead graphic designer: Sonia Micheli
graphic designer: Gilberto Vizzini
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