Bank of China

Bank of China

Design for intersecting cultures

The Bank of China workplace relocation project focused on migrating approximately 700 staff into 140 Sussex Street. A main driver for the Bank was to ensure that their people were accommodated in a benchmark healthy working environment, that would facilitate an increase in productivity and overall happiness and wellbeing.

Careful consideration went into the design of this project to ensure that the traditional culture of the Bank was maintained and respected, whilst innovative workplace solutions were developed to support their current style of working and the future vision for their business.

The Concept

A unifying concept of duality was the driver for both the built space and the graphics and signage, which explored overarching themes of East meets West and Traditional vs Contemporary. The design itself has worked hard to deliver a culturally appropriate design solution for a Chinese bank with a local Australian context, and finding balance was at times quite challenging.

The graphics package was extensive and broken into 5 main sections encompassing executive floors, typical floors, a staff canteen, basement carparking and fire stairs as well as informing physical aspects of the design including screening and wall panelling.

Creative Execution

Each component of the project required a unique approach and visual narrative, however needed to feel like it belonged to the bank’s overall language. The executive levels were finished with more refined and luxurious details allowing for elegant linework to the privacy graphics which stepped away from their rigid brand guidelines and created a responsive support to the interiors.

The typical floors had a separate bespoke glazing graphic created which existed of an abstracted pattern using the bank’s iconic coin logo element, which subtly reinforces brand awareness throughout the staff. Extending the theme of duality allowed us to explore a graphic approach to the lift lobby and internal staircase screening elements, which drew inspiration in equal parts from the fluctuating lines of financial markets and the undulating mountain forms of traditional Chinese landscape paintings.

The level 7 staff canteen was treated as a completely separate brief altogether and assigned as a destination level for staff to gather and enjoy. With supporting facilities such as a restaurant, games room and library space that were thoughtfully curated to ensure that the culture within the organisation was enhanced and enriched. The graphic language for this space took heavy inspiration from bustling Chinese food alleys leaning on bold typography and large textured iconography to enhance the environment.

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