Inside a bank facility

In banking, it’s common to have a near-endless stream of priorities all vying for your attention. Dealing with the pressures of running a successful branch is never easy, but that’s why some people aren’t cut out for this type of work. Remember, even when you’re up against deadlines and unsure of the next right move, you’re still within your area of expertise. You know how to take a step back amidst the pressure, look at things from another angle, rely on your expertise and choose the best course of action.

The Dos and Don’ts of Bank Design & Architecture

What does everything I mentioned above have to do with bank branch design and architecture? More than you may think. At HTG, we’ve completed over 2,600 projects within the financial industry, making it our number one area of expertise.

And over that time, we’ve discovered a handful of dos and don’ts that can help bankers relieve some of the natural stressors that come with building a new bank branch—or remodeling an existing one.

Do: Lead With Your Expertise

Your knowledge is extremely important for developing a new bank design. Many of the best, highest-performing branches have a way of telling their story through their design.

"Certain elements, even down to which building materials are used, can make an impact on your bank's image and help tell part of its story".

You bring an irreplaceable understanding of your branch’s community function, customer demographics, and employee needs. Your input is vital at every step of the process—from bank architecture design and aesthetics to finishing touches. When it comes time to build a new branch, focus on the bank culture—the unique things that make your bank and your people stand out—and find ways to represent those elements in the design.

Don’t: Pretend You Have All the Answers

While knowing your branch’s image and story is a perfect starting point, there’s still a long way to go. Similar to how you have unmatched expertise in your branch and its operations, our architects have expertise in what it truly takes to design and manage a bank or credit union project from start to finish.

When both parties are able to bring their own expertise to the table and meld it together, it provides a strong foundation for your project. Credit union and bank architecture is a specialized niche, and designing to provide the best possible customer experience is achieved with intentional decision making throughout the process.

Do: Partner With Experience

"Regardless of how much can be learned through attending conferences, watching webinars and researching online, it’s when you actually do something that you learn the most".

Similar to how new graduates need a few years of on-the-job experience to develop and refine their skills, architects use both education and experience to develop their expertise.

When you begin your next project, whether it’s new construction, a remodel or tenant improvement, choosing an architect that specializes in banking will add ease to every step of the process and result in a branch that’s primed for high performance.

image of the exterior of RBCU building

Don’t: Let Your Vision Get Sidelined

Throughout the course of designing a new branch or remodeling an existing one, ensure the components you feel strongly about remain a part of the plan. A good architect will listen intently to your vision and ask questions about why you believe it is important. Answer these seven questions to determine if it’s time to remodel your financial institution. 

You understand your business best, so you'll have a natural sense for what your new building requires. Financial architects know the industry trends like the back of their hand, so they can offer input and ideas to incorporate your vision into the project in a way that positions your branch for impact, efficiency and growth.

Do: Follow Impactful Trends

If you’ve started researching trends in bank design and architecture, you may have noticed there is no shortage of direction you can take your project. Whether you design something from the ground up or undergo a remodel to ensure every square foot of your property is aiding branch performance, there’s a lot of value in incorporating trends.

But, you may find it difficult to know which trends are worth your time, energy and resources. When you’re relatively new to a concept, like bank architecture trends, it’s common to spend too much time on areas that don’t yield much impact. Partnering with an experienced bank architect will help you stay focused and navigate through what can seem like a never-ending list of options.

Looking for inspiration on how to design a bank? Check out the transformation of Med5 Federal Credit Union.

Image of the of RBCU lobby

Bank Innovation Through Design

Innovative bank design happens when your experience and expertise meets ours. For successful financial institutions, it always comes back to customer experience. The customer experience you and your architect provide is what keeps people coming back. When you combine your knowledge of what’s unique and special about your bank with our knowledge base of financial industry architecture, your final product will outperform your expectations.

Innovative bank design happens when your experience and expertise meets ours. When you combine your knowledge of your bank’s culture—the unique and distinctive characteristics about your bank—with our knowledge of financial industry architecture, your final product will outperform your expectations.

Bank design begins with your vision. Get Your Workbook

Published on January 18, 2021

Topics: New Construction, Tenant Improvement, Bank Design, Remodel, Bank Architecture, How to Start a Bank

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