Banking on comfort and contemporary aesthetics
When it comes to banks, one usually thinks of a stark and dull-looking building for business transactions and financial needs.
But BDNA member Art Nivo has managed to transform all that for one of its latest projects for the National Bank of Belgium, which was recently completed.
The imposing state institution in Brussels, which has been serving the public since 1850, comprises four floors — the ground floor public area and three floors of office space.
Working on a brief to initiate a welcoming and personable atmosphere for the office, Art Nivo was responsible for brainstorming with the parties involved as well as sourcing for contemporary furniture required that would complement the theme — a healthy balance of warmth, entrepreneurial spirit and pragmatism.
One challenge the team faced was to ensure that the furniture bought was neither too cheap nor too costly as they were using public funds.
Art Nivo rose to the task of finding a good balance for the requirements provided and the new furniture featured more soft touches and curved designs that provided a less cold atmosphere. For instance, the reception counter is now a rounded one in white and light wood panelling as opposed to angular designs commonly found in other buildings. The aim was to make it as open and welcoming as possible as visitors will be personally received by an employee when they enter.
Light wood panelling of some of the walls and counters added a softer look to a professional space that was mainly done in hues of white and dark gray. The meeting areas featuring rooms of different configurations provide flexibility and ease of use for employees.
The team was also briefed to add more greenery to the office space and they managed to do so with tall potted plants throughout the area, as well as a foliage wall of ferns and leaves that added colour and soothed the eyes.