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Brief Published: 22 Feb 2011

Open Bank


Continuing the architectural trend of banks employing imaginative design tactics in order to redefine the conventional banking experience, last month NAU Architecture unveiled a new flagship branch of Austrian bank Raiffeisen in Zurich.

Designed to be more akin to a luxury retail space than a traditional bank, NAU have created a generously sized open-plan space by concealing technology and removing barriers between customers and employees. Its all-white interiors also include permeated curved walls featuring portraits of the area’s most outstanding former residents, which beyond adding a very literal humanising touch, function as spatial membranes - allow varying degrees of daylight to pass through and altering the look of the space throughout the day.

Aiming to relax as well as inform a touchscreen info-table allows customers to look up the latest stock market figures but also sports scores and other subjects unrelated to banking - creating a more social atmosphere, which NAU refer to as an “urban lounge”.