Selected as design partners by NAB, the practice was the guardian of the extensive design standards documentation and provided architectural services for multiple NAB formats including Full Service, Smart Store, HUB, Business Centre, Business Bank, Bank in a Box, Pop Up, and the Flagship store at 333 George Street in Sydney.
For the generic retail store formats, Warren and Mahoney (in association with DNA) formulated a customer-focused design approach for the 750 branch network which enables faster transaction times and more customer interaction points with NAB staff and technology. Supporting in-store staff was key to ensuring a retail-focused experience. Specially designed joinery and fixtures assist queue busting and redirection of customer flows to areas of the store best suited to particular needs.
The design brief called for a flexible approach that responded to the variety of locations and demographics. Fast prototyping and customer testing on 'In-Flight' stores enabled the design team to test ideas and distil design solutions in real time. The generic design enables future technology to evolve into the environment facilitating the migration to express banking or redirecting customers to spaces that offer privacy and security.
Delivering on NAB’s vision for an integrated customer service experience, the flagship branch ‘NAB on George’ matches customers with the right experience through a variety of options, providing a platform interaction and participation in educational, social and community events. The ground floor area provides for transaction and exploration - two key areas that NAB uses to interact with their customers. Functioning as a smart store, technology-enabled transactional environment, the space also incorporates a test and learn zone acting as a prototype environment for new products that will impact wider store network. The double height space has a connecting ‘vertical street’ which transitions the space from public to private. The vertical street is designed with bleachers forming a seminar space which is used for educational and financial wellbeing seminars. A co-working environment is situated on level one with multiple typography facilitating various collaborative and meeting settings.
The design intent was to create a physical disruptor among the surrounding retail precinct, creating an unexpected customer experience. The design blueprint was based on extensive research and customer consultation, as well as a recognition of the critical role of digital technologies in creating immersive, integrated customer experiences.
The NAB smart stores are technology enabled transactional environments without tellers. An array of intelligent machines populate the front of the store enabling customers to quickly process their transactions without the need for queueing. Staff roam the transactional areas to assist in the complex transactions and to familiarise customers with the new technologies.
These smart stores combine pure and practical transaction zones that enable customers to quickly and efficiently conduct their banking needs while also creating lingering zones for more relaxed conversations and information gathering.
The Business Customer Centres presented an opportunity for NAB to foster a closer working relationship with their business customers. The design result was create a common space that would operate as a co-share office as well as a banking environment – a similar concept to airport lounges. Bankers populate the space alongside their customers who frequent the centre to conduct their own business. There is an open entry area with a virtual concierge that logs the customers’ requirements for meeting rooms, technology and catering. Casual bench style work zones, catering facilities, flexible seating options, seminar space and semi-private meeting areas dominate the front areas. A ‘café’ culture with vitality and a sense of scale is created for customers as they move through the space. The Customer Centres have increased NAB’s business contact dramatically within its own environment, fostering more contact with their customers and their customers’ customers.