Financial institutions once occupied the most prestigious and opulent buildings and locations in every city and town. They oozed intimidation, grandeur and wealth. Then banks became nameless and faceless boxes, one or more in every block, just like franchised fast-food chains. And then it seemed we’d soon have no physical banks at all, only banking machines and online banking.
But now we are starting to see banks that seem to want to talk to us again. It seems that they want to make us feel welcome, actually wanting to appeal to customers again.
The new financial spaces are designer banks that look more like five-star hotel lounges, bars or nightclubs than the boring boxes banks have become.
Our recent examples of cool banking environments — from retail spaces to offices — have come from Paris, Milan, Moscow, Melbourne, Sydney and Amsterdam.
The latest of these designer banks is the Raiffeisen Bank’s flagship in Zurich designed by design co-operative NAU with associate team of DGJ (Zurich.)
The goal of this white space-agey environment is to break down the physical and emotional barriers between customers and staff. Stern tellers and three-piece-suited bankers behind high counters and glass walls, and accessible only through little windows like jailbirds — these are things of the past.
In this new world of banking, customers are invited to learn more about the bank’s services and products though interactive touch screen tables, while surrounded by digitally produced massive portraits of prominent past residents of the area.
We assume the staff members are equally stylish in attire and grooming as it is tough to imagine bespectacled tellers or portly pin-striped bankers in this environment. - Tuija Seipell
Twister is a new restaurant concept proposed for a space in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The design team, Sergey Makhno and Vasily Butenko also of Kiev, work on residential and commercial interiors and architecture but we are particularly fascinated by their furniture and their sculptural approach to interiors. We wrote about one of their office projects a while ago.
In Twister, the duo has captured the upward pull of a tornado in the main two-storey dining area with furnishings that seem to hover above the floor on their super-slim legs, with light fixtures resembling rain drops, and with massive sculptural columns that are in fact crow's-nest balconies.
The bar area is yet another iteration of a bird’s nest with walls covered with thatched sticks and with cushy seats resembling pods or cones. The warm-toned color palette conveys a sense of calm throughout, in spite of the avian connotations and air-borne allusions. - Tuija Seipell.
This is a promo video for Tempest Freerunning Academy in California. It is dedicated to the growth and spread of freerunning and parkour and has a special Super Mario Bros area so gym-goers can feel like they are in the game.
The song's called "Lights" by Ellie Goulding, it's the Bassnectar remix.
This residence was completed in January this year, yet it exudes a classic, modernist elegance that will ensure it will look just as timeless 50 years from now. Located in Buenos Aires, the “L House” by architect Mathias Klotz and associate architect Edgar Minond is the main residence of a small family.
Although this could be categorized as yet another grouping of concrete boxes representing the tiresome trend that just does not seem to want to die, this residence avoids all of the pitfalls most of such houses fall into.
In contrast to the stacked-concrete-boxes syndrome, not one section of this residence sticks out over anything, nor jut in an odd angle. No vanity ideas, no statement characteristics, no ego trip.
The house looks unpretentious and serene. All of its parts belong together and, loveliest of all, the structure appears to have sat on the site for some time. Simply put, it belongs. It all works.
European modernist sensitivities are apparent both inside and out. The use of wood, glass, steel, concrete and travertine limestone creates a coherent composition of materials and allows light and shadow to complete the decorative touches.
Without being too severe or controlled, this residence is composed of order. Some angles offer a Japanese or Scandinavian vista, as the indoor and outdoor spaces interact harmoniously.
This kind of simplicity is difficult to achieve and therefore it is so rare.
The architect, Mathias Klotz, was born in Viña del Mar, Chile, in 1965. He is one of Chile’s best known architects whose work includes private residences, hospitality and public buildings. In 2001, he received the Borromini Prize for Altamira School in Santiago de Chile. - Tuija Seipell
The excellent photography of this residence is by Roland Halbe of Stuttgart, Germany given to TCH exclusively.
You'd think that imaginative packaging would be the norm in the beer category but we all know it's not. For some reason, it seems that breweries, beer marketers and their design agencies run completely out of creativity and courage when it comes to store-level, street-level packaging. Boring. Boring. Boring.
Putting a black boombox graphic on a white beer box may not be such a creative stretch for the Australian beer brand Lovell's Lager - or their agency Landor associates, Sydney, but it sure stands out in a delightful way! We love the retro wink to bygone times when having your music with you meant lugging a massive boombox. There's something decidedly macho, too, about carrying this thing. And it got us talking - and we haven't even tasted the beer yet! - Bill Tikos
Bowling alleys are right up there with curling rinks on the list of the most unlikely milieus for anything chic. Yet, at The Spare Room, on the mezzanine level of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, both bowling and the bowling oxfords custom-designed for the newly opened lounge by George Esquivel are now decidedly in.
Celebrities and notables are seen nightly at the venue, created by nightlife wizards Med Abrous and Marc Rose and cocktail king Aidan Demarest.
The design, by the Los Angeles-based design firm Studio Collective, combines vintage, custom-tailored and new to conjure up an atmosphere of by-gone affluence.
There is the gaming parlor vibe, with its two vintage bowling lanes and custom-made sets of dominoes. And there is the speakeasy cocktail lounge scene with its lavish use of velvet, dark leather, polished dark wood, bronze, cast-iron and hardwood floors. Together, they form The Spare Room that oozes civilized illegality and pays homage to the real goings-on at the storied hotel in the 1920s. Tuija Seipell
Some people dream of success, others make it happen. Of course, you can dream as much as you like but waiting for things to happen gets you nowhere. Get active and start making things happen.
Whatever journey your path takes you on, the most important thing is to have passion in what you do.
How many of you went to college, got your degree, and ended up doing something totally unrelated to your major? Studying it did not make you passionate about it. It wasn’t your path.
Education or even talent aren’t worth much without passion. So do the stuff that you love and you've always wanted to do because without it, you'll feel stuck and unfulfilled. If you work in a bank but your dream is to be a naturopath, then make those changes now. Make this year the turning point in your life. When you do what you love you will be rewarded — it will just flow naturally.
Look at those around you who just make things happen. They have a clear goal in mind and they know where they want to go. They don't always have a plan but they have the passion and the tenacity to make it work, and they achieve their goals as the end result.
Trust us when we tell you this. If something important to you, you WILL find a way. If it isn't, you'll find an excuse. It’s that simple. Find your way. Make it work, whatever it takes. Are you 10 kilos heavier than you should be? It is simple: Commit, go to that gym every day, no excuses, and train until you lose those 10 kilos. When you accomplish this, you'll have the confidence to do more. Set a goal and make it happen.
Want to stop smoking? Stop making excuses, take control of your circumstances before they take control of you.
Success isn't just about what you accomplish in your life, it's about what you inspire others to do and when you do accomplish something as simple as quitting smoking or losing weight, you'll inspire others to do the same. Anyone can change the world, and everybody should try. And it all starts with your own life.
Stop waiting for the perfect time to do what you want to do. Do it now.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, so get used to being uncomfortable. It won’t kill you. Do you need a sign? Here it is: - Bill Tikos
DDB Paris created this simple, fun “Escape Machine” experience for the French travel company Voyages SNCF.
Menacing, glowing black cubes wait till someone goes close enough. Then the cube asks where the person would like to travel. Pushing the red button produces a crazy celebration, complete with gigantic walking kisses, and provides the wishers large, customized mock tickets to their destination. Watching the faces of the onlookers is just as much fun as the experience itself!
The underlying message is that the company’s Escape service lets you travel to any destination you want. DDB Paris with executive creative director Alexandre Harve created this, as it did last year’s flash-mob “Welcome Service” scenes for Voyages SNCF. - Tuija Seipell
We're looking to hire super talented CGI artists, if that's you, get in contact.