Warm reception

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Open, spacious interiors that create a welcome and friendly atmosphere are establishing a new direction in retail bank design
The modern interior of a new branch of ceiling, interior design, office, gray
The modern interior of a new branch of Westpac, designed to project an image of "contemporary professionalism and organized confidence".

Putting the customer first may be an old adage, but it has taken on a new meaning for one bank, which is determined to do away with queues and unnecessary delays.

The new Westpac branch in Auckland's Dominion Rd is the first in a series of upgrades that are putting the focus on customer comfort and liaison. The crisp, contemporary interior is designed by Jasmax to present a spacious, open environment that conveys a sense of "organised confidence", a philosophy that also determined the design of Westpac's new head offices.

Ken Hodgson, Westpac's general manager consumer, says the prototype branch was designed to improve interaction between staff and customers.


Westpac bank's new interior. Westpac's corporate colors are ceiling, exhibition, floor, interior design, gray
Westpac bank's new interior. Westpac's corporate colors are a prominent feature, helping to increase brand awareness. Glass separates the individual office spaces from the bank. Visual interest is provided by the careful placement of images and information.

"Traditionally, banks have featured big counters that have tended to act as a barrier between the customer and the banker," he says. "That impersonal approach has gone. This design makes our staff more accessible to customers, right from the moment they enter the bank."

Hodgson says a focal point is the front-of-house service point a place where staff can greet customers.

"It's like an express service, which does away with the need to queue unnecessarily," he says. "Customers may be helped at this point or directed to the right person to deal with their inquiry."

Westpac bank's new interior. Westpac's corporate colors are ceiling, exhibition, floor, interior design, gray
Westpac bank's new interior. Westpac's corporate colors are a prominent feature, helping to increase brand awareness. Glass separates the individual office spaces from the bank. Visual interest is provided by the careful placement of images and information.

In line with the simple, organised design approach, there is no overly complicated architectural detailing. Instead, visual interest is provided by the careful placement of images and information.

Apr 12, 2006
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