HOLA PROJECTS marry the comfort of traditional and human-scaled elements with smart efficiency for Citibank’s flagship retail and premium banking environment in Jakarta.
20 September, 2018
When did you last step foot inside a branch of your bank? Chances are that many of your recent interactions have been online or ATM based. And when you do visit your branch, it’s likely that you’ve noticed a far less transactional character in terms of the format and mood of the interior.
Hong Kong- and Melbourne-based design studio HOLA PROJECTS has a long history of working with Citibank, designing spaces in Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Miami and New York for the multinational institution. Now Jakarta joins the list, with HOLA’s completion of a branch interior (with architect of record PTI Architects) on the ground floor of Citibank Tower at Pacific Century Place.
The space, approximately 350 square metres in size, was a challenging one in which to create the human-centric experience that is now so important in retail banking environments. The seven-metre-high volume is almost entirely surrounded by glazing, so scale, privacy and glare were crucial considerations for the HOLA team.
Adding to the challenge was the need to accommodate two kinds of space: one for Citi Smartbanking, which required a clean technological environment as well as a warm and personable interface; and one for Citigold – a premium banking experience requiring a setting that’s luxurious, aspirational and private in nature to accommodate relationship-driven customer engagement.
For the Citi Smartbanking zone, HOLA smartly utilised the Citi-branded blue in a spatial manner by creating a large blue-glass box that can be read through the glazing from the exterior as a three-dimensional sign. Tucked away within this standalone volume are tellers, ATMs and private briefing rooms.
Around it are furniture-scaled touchpoints that humanise the experience and provide grounding for the customer within the tall, wide space of the branch. White Corian and oak finishes play off against the corporate blue, and dark terrazzo floor tiles reduce glare.
Whereas the full height of the interior was utilised for Citi Smartbanking, the scale was reduced for the Citigold areas. Screens and deeply coffered ceilings (suspended at three metres) work in concert to create a sense of enclosure and privacy for this premium zone.
Smoked oak, textured timber wall finishes, lattice screens, rugs and rattan alter the mood significantly and reference aspects of the traditional Indonesian built environment. The lattice screens were custom made with rods and flat bars, crisscrossed and overlayed to filter daylight and obscure direct lines of sight.
While the lowered ceiling offers greater acoustic control for the Citigold lounge area, discussions requiring discretion can be taken into a suite of double-glazed consultation rooms. Throughout, lighting points at human scale have been positioned to enhance human comfort.
Quality finishes, fittings and furniture were specified, including items from Vitra, Louis Poulsen, Knoll, Luceplan, Living Divani, Maxalto, Bassam Fellows, Gerbruder Thonet Vienna, Artek and Clestra. It’s a far cry from the relatively un-embellished environments of yesterday’s banks. Human-centric, comfortable and customer focused, Citibank’s flagship retail and premium banking environment in Jakarta places the emphasis on people rather than their accounts.
Photography by HOLA PROJECTS.
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