Envision Financial, under the umbrella of First West Credit Union has opened the door to a new way of banking. It also introduces a fresh, cohesive design concept for the merged credit union network under First West. Their newest branch, just opened at Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack, introduces this new member experience.
During the design and planning process RATIO and the First West Credit Union team re-imagined the Credit Union from the perspective of its true definition: a cooperative organisation of individuals for a common purpose; and as a key community stakeholder. Design decisions were made based on the client’s very successful brand drivers. One of those drivers is their community focus defined as ‘Act Local’.
Acting local drives their Signature Cause social campaigns which support an ongoing food bank donation drive. You will find that the entry to the branches does not have any brand identification but rather focuses attention on the Signature Cause immediately upon entry. At the Garrison branch, the ‘The Full Cupboard’ programme seen in the entry with the red back panel complete with a custom acrylic food bank donation box. Our project images can be found here.
Visitors will find the new Member Hall situated at the core of the space with supporting functions – offices, tellers, and insurance services flanking the member area. Branch visitors will see the Signature Cause, reception and member-focused communication set against a bold band of colour within a warm wood wall finish.
Member’s Hall provides a warm and welcome space for communication or pause. All offices are fronted by full height open glazing to create an open and inviting environment. Members meet branch staff in offices at a collaborative table with large monitors to encourage the sense of working together to support the member needs. All branch staff desks are oriented towards the path of entry so that one does not see backs on entry.
The brand attributes, that help define how the organization wants to be perceived, is reflected in the branch design: simple, smart, honest, progressive and refreshing. RATIO’s choice of materials, flow, arrangement of spaces and messaging all support the member in-branch experience.
Here is what First West Credit Union has to say about their new branch concept: “Why we are moving away from the traditional branch”.