The digital age has given rise to a lot more than some fancy tech – it also influences how designers and architects approach projects meant to elevate everyday experiences into the future. Hana Bank’s new private lounges in Seoul, South Korea are one such project: meant to merge customer interactions with tech-savvy tête-à-têtes, the spaces are minimalistic and chic, but still driven by a need for customer comfort.
The project is the brainchild of Seoul design studio Intg, known for their modern, clean lines, sharp angles and dynamic shapes, and, most importantly, designs that, despite their seemingly futuristic bent, focus on the integration of form and function. Though initially imposing, their spaces are meant to fit comfortably into everyday life. The firm’s under-construction Haesol School in Seoul is a great example of how they express their forward-thinking design ethos through usually banal buildings like schools (and of course, banks).
Hana Bank, a prestigious banking institution in the business district of Seoul’s Yeouido Island, aims to create a space where its customers can experience the best in digital service. In a world where more and more people are relying on mobile and internet transactions for their banking, Hana recognizes the need for private spaces where customers feel at ease and comfortable, all while experiencing the best service possible.
And Intg was the right firm for the job, immediately grasping the institution’s desire to blend privacy with comfort, efficiency with serenity. Dubbed Gold Club Yeouido, the lounge, according to a recent article by Wallpaper, “[blends] the digital with the analogue and the physical” with a space that’s technologically tricked-out but still focused on the customers’ needs and comfort in a “gentle, tactile interior full of textures and serene color tones.”
The club is also meant to evoke a feeling of exclusivity, with added perks and more sophisticated spaces for the various membership levels. Spread out over two floors, the over 1,100-square-meter space includes spots that are VIP-access only, including a “floating” meeting room “inspired by [both] classical and Oriental elements,” according to the Intg design team.
The surrounding areas are distinct yet flexible. Providing spaces for customers to complete their designated banking chores, the rooms are designed to serve different needs through both adaptable and sophisticated means. Meant to “loosely [reflect] traditional Korean residential architecture,” according to the designers, the arrangement echoes Korean houses in their layout and rooms existing as distinct, interspersed islands, each with their own function. Surrounded by soothing, natural hues and a pleasing dichotomy between soft and hard textures. the area is somehow still welcoming despite its seemingly sparse decor.
After being approached with their latest project for state-of-the-art private lounges in the prestigious Seoul institution Hana Bank, design studio Intg discovered that even “in a highly digital environment, customers still visit bank branches to handle complicated tasks, which come with an emotional burden.” Their goal in creating the bank’s digital dens was to create spaces that perfectly blended customer comfort with the efficiency of tech-savvy experiences: a true VIP experience meant to soothe and serve customers in an increasingly digital world.