Westpac signature branch, 79 Queen St, Auckland - Context Architects | ArchiPro

Westpac signature branch, 79 Queen St, Auckland

With its water’s edge theme, café caravan, and completely open façade, the award-winning Westpac signature branch in Auckland turned banking convention on its head. The brief for 550m² branch was to engage customers in new ways and embody the bank’s core value of ‘help is what we do. The architecture relates to and explores the ever-changing ebb and flow of the water’s edge. The branch sits on the threshold of Auckland’s original foreshore, and the concept is driven from Aucklanders’ love of beaches and the waterfront.

In design terms, you cross the edge of the foreshore into the building, and onto a wharf that leads you in. A wave-inspired ceiling wraps around the interior.

A flock of moving red birds (recreated as Westpac ‘W’s) fly under a blue sky hovering over meeting spaces. Amid the birds are 208 white doves – each representing one of Westpac’s branches throughout New Zealand. The birds’ scene, like other design elements, is eclectic and layered.
The design is contrary to what most people associate with banking. By opening it up and making nothing off-limits, it lets customers own the space they are in.

The fully-open frontage, with air curtains for comfort, is innovative and inviting. 14 TV panels and 17m² of LED screens create an attention-grabbing and ever-changing façade that draws people in and can be integrated with every in-store device for unparalleled brand storytelling. It is more flexible and dynamic than any other traditional frontage in the vicinity.

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