The primary goals for the redesign of the existing Coolidge Corner branch were to create a new sophisticated look, increase the visibility of the branch to the outside community, introduce a more sales oriented focus to the space, and create a consistent appearance between the branch build-out, the furnishings, the merchandising, and the interior signage.
After a national search, Brookline Bank hired Approach Architects to design and observe the renovation of the outdated branch on Beacon Street in Brookline, MA. The branch program included (6) full service teller stations, (1) greeter desk, (4) platform desks, (3) private offices, (2) online stations, (1) conference room, (1) after-hours conference room, (1) night drop, (3) full service ATM’s, and support areas. Approach was to design all the interior elements including millwork, finishes, merchandising, and signage.
The first step in achieving the bank’s goals, recognizing the sign and storefront restrictions that exist in the Coolidge Corner area, was to utilize the interior space to promote the Bank through the storefront. The ATM wall is composed as a billboard promoting the Bank's technology. The After-hours Conference Room, which allows late meetings with branch staff, faces onto the street and boldly displays the Bank's emblem. The Banking Lobby is clearly visible from the street, opening the space to the community at large.
To encourage a sense of community within the branch, a “town square” was created within the lobby and waiting area by replacing the walls that once separated the ATM from the lobby with a sliding glazed partition. Opening this space during banking hours enhances customer contact by allowing ATM users the opportunity to be greeted and welcomed into the bank. Another facet of promoting the bank’s commitment to the community is the public display window that faces Beacon Street and is available to non-profit groups to promote their work.
The progression of spaces and the accompanying merchandising displays were carefully designed to maximize the customer’s exposure to new technologies and opportunities. Each major area of the branch - 24 Hour Lobby and Conference First Impressions, Online Banking, and Teller Services -- is similarly branded to delineate the area while emphasizing the overarching cohesion within the space.
The materials were selected to compliment the bank’s color scheme and bring warmer tones into the branch. Ceramic tile is used in service and transitional spaces for superior appearance and ease of cleaning. Carpeting marks sales and conference areas and improves auditory privacy. Rich solid surface counters, offset by clear maple supports and cabinetry, combine to create stylish and durable millwork. Boldly painted serpentine soffits serve to link all the branch spaces and provide a backdrop for customer directed messages.
The client wanted to be able to use the entire branch as meeting and entertaining space for special occasions. Approach Architects developed a removable check desk and queue rail system that could be serviced by branch staff and would allow the teller lobby to be completely free of obstructions during events.