OCBC WISMA ATRIA
Client / OCBC Bank
Sector / Finance Institutions
Service / Experience Design, Spatial Design
OCBC Wisma Atria turns mundane banking errands and potentially overwhelming wealth management considerations into experiences of discovery and learning through its open and inclusive design.
The meandering bookcases not only encourages customers to explore different parts of the bank, it also sparks meaningful life-related conversations. It is through such conversations that the bank is able to better support customers in making informed wealth-related decisions.
This approach positions OCBC as more than just another bank. Instead, it is a lifelong partner and enabler that empowers its customers in achieving their life goals, whatever they may be.
Photo credits: OCBC Bank, The Afternaut Group
To allow the bank to become more approachable and relatable to customers, the banking elements are subtly concealed in the periphery and away from the main entrance.
Banking is one of the most essential services in our lives, and the way banking is being done has evolved from having bank tellers in booths to banking applications in our mobile phones. But more than just a functional experience upgrade, how should banking evolve to meet our needs in this day and age, and also prepare us for what we might need in our future?
Our design challenge was to design a space that could educate the bank’s customers about various finance topics relevant to the different stages in their lives. As a result, they will be able to make better decisions regarding their personal wealth. The space also needed to be memorable enough to entice customers to revisit when they reach a new stage in their life.
In an effort to reframe its interaction with its customers and relate a broad range of topics with financial education and well-being, we co-developed the concept of Banking in Life alongside the OCBC team, where banking is secondary and creating the kind of lifestyle that consumers want for themselves through learning and gaining knowledge comes first.
A bookstore, café, retail, pop-up exhibition area, event space, art gallery, and sushi bar become unexpected, yet relevant, discoveries in the bank.
Due to multiple entry points to the bank, we envisioned the bookstore as a fluid book spine that creates a seamless free-flowing circulation, connecting the various programmes together.
The Spine, our central design feature, serves as the backbone that binds the entire space together. Apertures within The Spine allow line of sight into different programmes, giving customers opportunities to pause along their journey. This allows the bank to distribute crowds more effectively, creating a more pleasant experience.
The array of books permeating the space connect relevant knowledge with the respective retail and lifestyle partners and present opportunities for customers to learn more about their interests. These, in turn, co-relate with the wealth related conversations that customers may have with the bank and present opportunities for deeper interactions. Such engagements are then supported by the mix of semi-enclosed and private rooms.
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