A successful workspace tenant improvement will address the goals of the business, brand attributes, culture, the type of business, employee profiles and help drive creativity and innovation. A results-based design solution will ensure successful and lasting results.
Future-proofing Credit Union branch designs
Titled ‘In Sync’, the Canadian Credit Union Association’s Enterprise Magazine takes a look at how credit unions are adapting their branches to address usage shifts as a result of technology; now and for the future.
Because technology has prompted a disruption in banking services, branch usage patterns have changed. Factor in demographic shifts, competition from traditional banks, digital-only banking services and rapidly changing expectations from consumers means that credit unions really need to understand their current and future members. What do they want out of a branch experience? Why are they still coming to the branch? Where should the branch be? How can we scale a branch design for a network in different communities and distinct demographic profiles?
The ‘Branch of the Future’ is here now. It’s about delivering financial services in a way that is relevant for individuals and individual communities. People want convenience, yes, but also face-to-face consultative service – advice — for big ‘life moments’ like small business loans, mortgages and life insurance.
RATIO principal, Chris Pollard was interviewed for his thoughts on future-proofing credit union branch design through scalability, member insights and community profiling.
“For credit unions, the branch of the future meets financial service expectations through a hub-andspoke model,” he says. “Branches are scaled to meet service requirements. The branch of the future plays a role in the community, providing flexible space to community groups, small business owners and group meetings or educational seminars. Branch design may reflect a network brand but offer a local feel. It’s all about the customer, from delivering the kind of service they want, how they want it, seamlessly from online to branch, where the physical branch is an inviting environment for one to one high-value transactions.”
Pollard also believes that meeting future needs requires a commitment to staying connected with members, something credit unions already do well. “By staying connected to their
customers, credit unions will understand why people still want to come into branches. When a client comes to us and says, ‘we’ve leased a new space and we want to do a renovation’, or ‘can you help us find a new space?’ we take a step back and look at where they want to be in five or 10 years. Because the decisions you’re making now have a massive effect on what you’re able to do in the future.”
RATIO and Credit Unions:
The RATIO team has provided architectural, interior design and planning services to credit unions for over 50 years. Recent and ongoing financial service projects include the re-imagined Island Savings branch network, award-winning design on the downtown branch of Salmon Arm Savings & Credit Union, refresh of Greater Vancouver Community Credit Union’s brand and branch template. RATIO provides integrated consulting on all Vancity branches and the forward-thinking branch concept for First West Credit Union through their Envision Financial brand.
RATIO’s been busy!
We are pleased to introduce our newest team members. The RATIO team comes from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Because we work collaboratively as a team and with our clients, we are able to think distinctively and take a progressive approach with rigorous creativity. This allows us to help our clients see what is possible to create inspiring, innovative and sustainable spaces.
“On behalf of the whole RATIO team, welcome to our newest team members.”
Christopher Pollard, Principal, RATIO
Adriana Palomares, Office Manager
RATIO ’s new office manager, Adriana Palomares, operates command central for the RATIO team; she’s responsible from accounting to overall office management. Originally from Brasil, Adriana has lived and worked in Vancouver for 21 years.
Aislinn Cunningham, Designer
Aislinn is a creative, enthusiastic and hard working architecture graduate. She has worked and volunteered, locally and internationally. From Ireland, Aislinn is a graduate of the University of Limerick with a B.Arch. She has a passion for promoting tactical urbanism and the importance of design in a city.
Ana Albernaz, Designer
Originally from Rio, Ana is a graduate of the University of Brasilia with a Bachelor degree in Architecture and Urbanism. She says “ I love working on projects where I can think of architecture and interior design together so the atmosphere is cohesive, fluid and elegant.”
Sehr Bokhari-Latif, Project Manager
Sehr adds experience and expertise to the RATIO team with an MSc Arch from University College London, UK, B Arch from the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York and holds a LEED AP BD+C certification. Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, Sehr brings international experience in residential and commercial architecture. She has extensive education management experience both locally and internationally. Sehr likes Vancouver because of the diversity of people who call it home; the variety of restaurants and food. When asked what she likes best about her profession she says, “Architecture, in practice and in the field of study, has wide-ranging implications for, and impacts every segment of society.”
Melissa Gonzalez, Designer
Melissa loves Vancouver because it is a coastal city surrounded by mountains, amazing views, well defined seasons that lets her enjoy of outdoor activities all year round. With a B. Sc. Arch. From ITESO in Guadalajara, she is a registered Architect in Mexico with over 15 years of international and Canadian experience.