This unconventional, futuristic-looking flagship branch of Raiffeisen bank has been recently completed by two Swiss architectural practices DGJ and NAU. Developed around the idea of an ‘open bank’, the clean, streamlined interior serves as ‘an open lounge where customers can learn about new products and services’ within a more casual, interaction-encouraging atmosphere.
The distinctive wall pattern, developed in collaboration with a Zürich-based multidisciplinary planning firm Rippmann Oesterle Knauss, ‘acts as a membrane mediating between the open public spaces and intimately scaled conference rooms with the intricate portraits featuring some of the quarter’s most prominent past residents.
About the project:
‘Raiffeisen’s flagship branch on Zurich’s Kreuzplatz dissolves traditional barriers between customer and employee, creating a new type of “open bank,” a space of encounter. Advanced technologies make banking infrastructure largely invisible; employees access terminals concealed in furniture elements, while a robotic retrieval system grants 24 hour access to safety deposit boxes. This shifts the bank’s role into becoming a light-filled, inviting environment – an open lounge where customers can learn about new products and services.
‘This lounge feels more like a high-end retail environment than a traditional bank interior. Conversations can start spontaneously around a touchscreen equipped info-table and transition
to meeting rooms for more private discussions. The info-table not only displays figures from world markets in realtime, but can be used to interactively discover the history of Hottingen, or just check the latest sports scores. ‘
‘Created in conjunction with iart interactive, the Info-table in the lounge offers customers a chance to check the latest stock quotes, or the daily news. The touchscreen also allows one to learn about the history of the area and the personalities prominently displayed on the bank’s walls. Most importantly it acts as a magnet for client and advisor to meet around casually, before deciding if they should move to the adjoining meeting rooms for further discussion. Displayed information is updated real- time from the web through programmed RSS feeds. New figures pop up like animated soap bubbles.’