Crea International - Italian Retail Design

Barwa Bank the shari'ha compliant bank

The first Islamic bank looking at the future: service design innovation and country traditions in a perfect balance

barwa bank multistation
"Retail design innovation breaking the rules of current retail banking models, introducing a free flow and browsing approach. The final result is feasible either from the quality of design and the kind of retail service design journey, which are perceived as a fully integrated experience driven by our unique Physical-Brand-Design projectual methodology"
Crea International

barwa sketch
barwa multistation 2
barwa wall
The first islamic retail banking design concept, displaying modernity and technology but maintaining the strong tradition and roots of the country

The Barwa Bank branch design concept has been a challenging project for Crea International : designing a progressive Islamic bank, showcasing either modernity and coolness strongly rooted with the tradition of the country was the brief assigned by the client.

The objective was to propose an environment aimed to customers more and more familiar with most innovative technologies, paperless, offering outstanding services, upon the claim "the future has a bank", to contribute to the economic development of Qatar, addressed to its current and future generations. A bank thought where people would feel comfortable and welcome in an retail environment close to the fashion mid market luxury, with a strong anchorage to major Qatar elements.

A new retail service design journey able to reflect the overall spirit of the country, free and welcoming

Through the methodology of Physical-Brand-Design, Crea International team approached the project starting from studying in the first place the history and traditions of the country to get familiar with Qatari people who feel very belonging to their culture and are proud of, going to analyse throughout the mission of Barwa Bank and the values it stands for, and finally looking at the banking models both in Western and Middlle East countries.

The bank is like a treasure chest, containing country traditions. Within the branch customers can have a new retail service design journey, which aims to set a new free flow and browsing approach, integrating the self banking model with the assisted consultancy.

Inside the branch customers can freely browse within the bank and do not need to take a seat to queue while waiting their turn. Each client is welcome by a butler who registers his priority of attendance through a queuing system color coding, while letting take a look at the interactive tables showcasing all banking new products or at the innovative electronic devices displayed at the entrance.

A reinterpretation of Qatar landscape translated into the concept design: colours, shapes and signs to create a unique enviromental identity

The original inspiration came both from the landscape of Qatar and its nature: the dunes inspired the smooth shapes mixed with clear cut geometrical lines, the flowers of the desert with their delicate colours are source of inspiration for being symbol of energy and growth, the mother pearl and the finely carved architectural walls become the main components to translate the precious approach Crea International wanted Barwa Bank to deliver.

The centre of of the branch hosts the precious blossom flower of the desert around which orbit as petals a series of working station where the main bank activities sheltering the growth of the country are operated. The mother pearl luminescence dresses the whole space to capture the Qatari colours, while the inlays with Islamic arabesque run along the perimeter walls.
Resin, corian and barrisol get together to give birth to a fluid natural and morphological shaped architectural box which apart from hiding technology, it imparts to the bank store a unique, cosy and enfolding environmental branding.

Finally a fully transparent shop front characterizes Barwa Bank: no posters, no displays, the bank innovative design is its best communication to announce the arrival of a new bank in town.

To strengthen this uniqueness of Barwa Bank all atm machines and mobile branches have been developed with the same strong design approach. The flower, iconic symbol of Barwa Bank is now blossoming through out Qatar to deliver top quality service to clients.

design director: Libero Rutilo

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