Centreville Bank in East Greenwich, RI was a traditional branch with a teller line and other antiquated features. Despite a wider rebranding initiative in the recent past, this branch needed a serious makeover, and Solidus was chosen to undertake the project. The client wanted the branch to look fresh and to incorporate the brand in a more modern way, as this particular branch was very dated. The branch was going to be first in the Centreville network with ITMs so this was the launch of Centreville’s ITM program. It was also the first project the bank had ever had done while remaining fully open for business, which is a benefit of Solidus’ experience of phased construction around our clients’ schedules.
One of the biggest challenges of the project was that initially, all parking for the branch was in a parking lot at the side of the building. There was a walk-up ATM in a small vestibule, but no access into the branch on that side. People previously had to walk around to the street entrance. It was important to change that, so there was access to the branch directly from the parking lot. Also, the client wanted a community room that the community could use and access from the parking area. At least 95% of customers are now using the new entrance.
Our designers and the bank’s designers worked on the designs collaboratively. The plan was to transition from the teller line to a pod system whose designs were modern in their overall approach to retail banking. There was also a need to brighten the platform area and make it feel more open. Towards the end of the project, our work had made such an impact that customers actually thought we’d put an addition on the building because it felt so much more open and full of light. It was a huge change, and we were gratified to hear the reactions.
The branch now featured an off-hours access community room that we designed in a non-traditional way rather than the typical conference table and chairs arrangement. The client wanted the layout to be more versatile, so we designed it as more of a relaxed lounge/meeting type space where branch staff could sit down and have discussions with customers, and the community could use it for various purposes.
The branding palette was relatively new and we kept the branding guidelines and colors in place but designed it to be less salient than the palette itself. The branch now feels like Centerville Bank without too many brand elements overwhelming the effect. We stayed within the palette but adjusted it to complement the brand instead of being the brand. It wasn‘t an exact match but the colors brought out the branding palette without fighting with it for attention.
We had to coordinate the transition from a walk-up ATM to a walk-up ITM in the vestibule off the parking lot (the new side entrance) and also modify one of the drive-thru islands under the canopy by making it wide enough for the ITM to sit on, as the ITM was wider than the island. We now had to communicate to people that they could no longer drive up to the existing ATM that was in the wall of the building, as widening the island meant there was no longer the space for cars in that lane. There was a lot of coordination required between the bank’s vendors and our project superintendent to keep things as smooth as possible. We also concurrently created a Contact Center in the bank’s main office because the implementation of ITMs in East Greenwich required a remote audiovisual group to support it, or the ITMs wouldn’t be a success.