‘Flexibility’ and ‘transparency’ are not words traditionally associated with the finance industry. As a typology, the bank is seen as a symbol of strength, power and security. But with 97 per cent of the money in today’s economy represented by digital deposits – leaving only 3 per cent as tangible cash – the taxonomy of space in financial buildings is being overhauled. Less floor area is given to traditional storage methods, leaving much more room for a brand’s values to shine.
Amsterdam – Recognizing that banks not only provide a public service but are also a place of work, architects and designers are challenging their impenetrable roots and instead prioritizing openness, community and wellness.
ING, the Netherlands’ largest bank, recently gave 2,800 of its employees a new home in Amsterdam. Known as Cedar, the five-storey building was designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects and HofmanDujardin as more than a bank – or even an office. Instead, it is a manifestation of the brand’s purpose to ‘empower people in a building that opens itself up to society’.