Retail branches: the bank of now, future-proofed & bionic
ratio wrote this on Aug 23

Whether you call it ‘ future-proofing,’ ‘The Bionic Bank’ or ‘The Bank of Now’, they all refer to the strategic redefinition of the physical branch.  It means ensuring they meet needs of changing populations, providing centres of advice for life's milestone moments.  People want face to face service for high-value transactions like small business loans, mortgages and life insurance.


Tenant Improvements: Workspace Design that works
RATIO wrote this on Aug 09

Workplace change is a profound adjustment for employees. Successful workspace design projects require a designer who is versed in change management strategies.  For a company’s workspace transition to be successful, a top down process will not work. Your designer should work collaboratively with your team and incorporate strategies such as visioning sessions and peer engagement to minimize employee stress and resistance. Your design partner will ideally communicate and work with you through all project phases from programming and design through procurement, construction administration, and post occupancy analysis. During the construction phase, a full service design firm works as your advocate, reviewing work on site, proactively managing changes and vetting Contractors’ progress draws. All of this ensures a well-coordinated design and construction process, resulting in a successful workspace project.

Distinctive thinking leads to successful workspace design results:

  1. 1.  Choose a design partner who has expertise in change management
  2. 2.  Build an internal project team for decision-making
  3. 3.  Involve your design partner early on – ideally before the lease decision is made
  4. 4.  Select a design partner that can provide a start-to-finish solution. The process should start with information gathering and analysis: everything from current workplace environment, operational efficiencies, overarching corporate goals for the future, marketplace competitors, and brand.
  5. 5.  Engage a value-driven design partner who brings leadership, creativity & project management to the project
  6. 6.  Design with flexibility in mind so workplace can easily evolve to changing needs
  7. 7.  Leverage sustainability benchmarking to ensure a healthy work environment
  8. 8.  Get clarity on the goals of your tenant improvement or renovation
  9. 9.  Evaluate the disruption to your business to mitigate negative impact
  10. 10. Use best practices for workspace design that includes considerations for productivity, flexibility, competition, collaboration and workplace health into the future


Workplace design by RATIO

Over the last several years at RATIO, we have focused our attention on the changing workplace and how we can help our clients plan spaces that will adapt to future needs. It is anticipated that over the next decade we will see an unprecedented change in the way we work as a result of many factors including larger socio-economic shifts, changing age demographics, rising real estate costs and the need to build a more sustainable future. We work with our clients to ensure that their workspaces are healthy, productive and inspiring; and will be easily adaptable to changing needs.


Learn more about RATIO and Workspace  design:

RATIO project page: Legacy Tax + Trust Lawyers

The right office design from plan to success


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Vancouver Heritage Foundation offers 25 ways to heritage
RATIO wrote this on Jul 18

Celebrate Vancouver’s heritage with the 25th anniversary celebration activities curated by the  Vancouver Heritage Foundation. With their interactive list, you can get involved  25 different ways. Explore heritage buildings across the city or take advantage of resources like online guides for home owners or neighbourhood  map guides to heritage sites.

“From taking a moment to appreciate the details and craftsmanship of Vancouver’s historic buildings, to learning more about the diverse history of our city, planning a special visit, or even rolling up your sleeves and getting hands-on, there are lots of ways to take part and help us celebrate 25 years.” Heritage Vancouver


Here are just 3 of  the 25 Vancouver Heritage Foundations suggestions:

  1. 1.   Join John Atkin for a free walking tour of the West Hastings Street corridor on July 28th. See how this important historic street has evolved from fashion centre to business district, and learn about some of its impressive buildings.
  2. 2.  Use the Heritage Site Finder on your mobile device to find all the listed heritage buildings in Gastown (hint: there are 39 on Water Street alone!)
  3. 3.  Explore Vancouver’s maritime history and heritage with a wander along False Creek’s south shore, from the Salt Building to Granville Island to the Vancouver Maritime Museum. This transformed waterfront has a lot to reveal of its industrial and seafaring past and present



At RATIO, we think conserving our heritage places buildings and places is important. Our work in conserving some of British Columbia’s heritage sites has resulted in award-winning and nationally recognized sites that connect design excellence, adaptive reuse and historic preservation. These projects are testaments to the success of heritage conservation.

See RATIO’s portfolio of Heritage Redevelopment projects

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