An impressive entrance

Masculine materials and art give the offices of this private bank a comfortable, club-like look

view of the bank reception showing water feature architecture, ceiling, glass, interior design, lobby, brown, black
view of the bank reception showing water feature using black pebbles and granite slabs contrast with onyx

The first impression that a visitor receives on stepping inside an office is liable to shape his or her views of the business.

The owners of this private bank wanted it to have a sophisticated, but intimate atmosphere, so to achieve this, interior architect Isabelle Miaja has played with a mix of materials and colours, and the way they interact with light.

"We used different types of woods for various areas. Darker woods were introduced where we wanted to create a sophisticated look. To make the entrance and waiting areas feel more intimate and human, we softened the lighting. Visitors enter the bank from the building's main lobby, which is quite grandiose, so we wanted to create a more personal feel for our reception area," Miaja says.

Stainless steel and chrome have been used to give the bank's own lobby an uncluttered, architectural look. Artwork lacquered pots and an antique Chinese wheel has an Asian flavour.

view of this casualrelaxed meeting room with comfy ceiling, interior design, living room, room, window, brown
view of this casualrelaxed meeting room with comfy seats and soft colours

"Our aim was that clients visiting the bank should feel as if they are coming into an office in Asia, rather than into the headquarters of a European bank," Miaja says.

Inside the reception area, materials such as leather chairs give the waiting area the appearance of a comfortable gentleman's club. Artwork was also chosen for its masculine qualities. Three-dimensional images carved on stainless steel catch the light and provide a subject for conversation.

Another conversation starter is the water feature with its illuminated onyx column contrasting with shiny black pebbles and granite slabs.

"We want people to react when they see the artwork and speak to each other," says the designer.

view of the meeting room showing high closs ceiling, dining room, interior design, living room, room, table, wall, gray
view of the meeting room showing high closs lacquered dining table, and wooden furniture

Because of the way the bank operates, most of the office space is divided into meeting rooms of various sizes, where clients and their account holders can meet privately.

"We have given each room its own personality. Each space has its own style and suits different purposes. Account holders have the flexibility to choose meeting rooms where meals can be served and eaten or rooms for more informal occasions, such as tea or a drink at the end of the day."

The offices also contain a large boardroom for 14 to 16 people. Glass panels can be frosted when a meeting is in progress or clear at other times.

" We gave this space a formal look and a sense of drama, in line with the type of decisions that are made here," says the designer.

Credit list

Main contractor
Mansource Interior
Window treatments
Roller blinds from G21 Furnishing
Stone suppliers
Wallcovering supplier
Goodrich global and Contrac-Image Trading
White sycamore, macassar ebony, natural teak from Nissi Wood Veneer
Million Lighting
Reception furniture, office chairs
X-tra Designs
Artwork, antiques, ceramics
Graphic World, Illusionary Art, Club 21 Gallery, M&A Collections
Window and door joinery
Custom made in Macassar Ebony finish
Tropic brown granite, black galaxy granite, white onyx
Flooring suppliers
Goodrich Global, Contrac-Image Trading, Xessex
Premierwall Deluxe, Effect II
Plasterboard finish
ICI Paints
Custom made in macassar ebony
Additional furniture
HBF Showroom

Story by: Trendsideas

12 Apr, 2006

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