David Backman of Boston CheckCashers approached us to help him renovate his existing Boston check-cashing store. He was familiar with our range of work with other financial institutions, and he sought our help to re-brand his company’s image. The old fit out was tired, and he wanted to create a modern, exciting, and professional retail environment for his customers. The program was to include: Teller Area with (7) workstations, (2) work counters, and (1) Vault Room; Queue Area with (1) millwork check desk; Lobby Area with (1) ATM and (2) check desks; Vending Area with assorted vending and game machines; and (1) kitchenette. The mechanical systems were also to be upgraded and relocated into the Basement.
The original layout of the first floor contained most of the elements the client wanted, but they were scattered around the floor. Our challenge was to create a logical sequence of spaces that allowed all the store’s services to be accessed and promoted. Circulation became the major design driver while trying to connect all of the program elements and maintain two separate entrances.
The projects location in Boston’s historic South End limited our ability to reconfigure the existing exterior. The existing corner entrance remained the primary entrance into the store. It opens into the lobby with an ATM and check desk immediately to the right. The queue is directly in front with the tellers beyond. The second existing entrance now opens into the vending area, allowing customers seeking those services access without traversing the lobby. This area is open to the queue and tellers, allowing marketing of products to those users.
We maintained the location of the tellers, but completely replaced all the fixtures and furnishings. The monolithic, flat wall of tellers was replaced by individual positions with bright-colored millwork. The secure glazing was set behind the pedestals that separate the positions, maintaining security while making the experience more inviting.
The flooring was switched from dark carpet to light ceramic tile to brighten the space and provide for easier cleaning. The acoustic ceiling with exposed fluorescent lamps was replaced with a painted gypsum ceiling with recessed downlights to provide a designed, professional look to the lobby and queue.