Perhaps we have died and gone to heaven, or just seeing visions, but this not the kind of bank that we do business with. Unfortunately.
This far-reaching concept bank is located in the historical building of 2, Place de l’Opéra. The space is chock-full of completely wacky un-bank features, yet it also has a nice retro touch — the honeycombed ceiling, lovely mirrors — that gives it the elegance and respectability that the building’s history warrants and the bank’s business must convey.
Other than that, it is an almost 1,000 square-meter funhouse of colors, shapes, textures and forms with the goal to entice the customer to discover, interact, experiment and (gasp!) enjoy.
In ten specific zones, all regular banking functions from daily banking to stock-market info, private meetings, staff training can take place with the emphasis on breaking the age-old banking set-up where the client and the adviser (the teller, the banker) are on opposite sides.
All of this plus a temporary exhibition area dedicated to kids, a coffee bar, a 25 square-meter green, living wall set the tone for the unusual banking experience. Of course, such aspects as ergonomics, sustainability, proper lighting and the latest technology, are givens.
In addition to custom furniture and furnishings, Zoevox used furniture by Christophe Delcourt, Philippe Hurel, Paola Lenti, Christian Liaigre, India Mahdavi, Antonio Lupi (lavabo), Pierre Paulin and Philippe Starck, and lighting by Sylvie Coquet, Adrien Gardère, Poul Henningsen, Marco Merendi, Karim Rashid and Patricia Urquiola. Now, can we all expect our neighbourhood banks to change? Tuija Seipell
Underwhelming. That’s the one word that describes the Superbowl ads. With one fun exception: Volkswagen’s The Force (23 million views). Brands in general did not push Twitter or Facebook either, as they assumed viral would happen by itself. But it didn’t, because the Superbowl ads were not memorable or worth talking about. People talked, but it was mainly negative. Being just a bit clever and/or technically good is nowhere near enough. Talking down at the viewer bombs. And being plain stupid is unforgivable. So, what is missing? Storytelling skills, heart and magic. Real, tough-earned creative that pushes the viewer to something new, surprising, fun. All those brands, all those agencies, all that money, and that’s the best that can be done? Fail. Here's a Heineken ad, The Entrance, an ad that would have fit the bill. - Tuija Seipell
Kirk Originals eyewear company opened its London flagship store on Conduit Street in the West End this week with a swanky launch party.
London-based Campaign designed the pared-down, dramatic retail environment of the 66 square-meter boutique.
The black-and-white color palette, only one eyewear wall with 187 “heads” for frames, and practically no furnishings ensure that customers will focus on the eyewear, not the trappings. Eye examinations and fitting take place in the basement, away from the main display space. Large graphics of winking eyes in the window speak the same, clear language leaving no doubt about what they sell.
Established more than two decades ago, Kirk Originals is still run by Jason and Karen Kirk from their home near Bordeaux, France. Kirk Originals are available in more than 40 countries. - Tuija Seipell
Pool tables, free beer and “casual everyday” dress code may have become the desired and appropriate work environment in many companies, but for some, a gentlemen’s club atmosphere works better.
London-based architecture and design firm SHH created this elegant office in London for an international investment company. The offices are located in a five-storey Georgian townhouse connected to a two-storey mews by a partially covered walkway. Several marble-inlaid fireplaces, marble mosaic floor tiles and beautiful ceiling cornices were kept from the previous occupants but the rest underwent a thorough modernization.
The resulting milieu is imposing and somewhat intimidating. Its dark, black-and-white photography vibe harkens back to some secret storied past, yet the contemporary treatments, especially the dramatic lighting pieces return the thoughts back to today.
Some of the light fixtures are by Modular and Foscarini and the statement chandeliers were custom-designed by Michael Anastassiades.
Custom-work, limited-edition pieces and classic furnishings such as Eames chairs accent each space, giving stunning jolts among the calm opulence.
Showing up in dated jeans or worn-out sneakers (unless you are Steve Jobs or Richard Branson) in this space would not seem appropriate, and should cue sports be allowed, they would most likely be the English Billiards variety.
Founded in 1992 by David Spence, Graham Harris and Neil Hogan (the S, H and H), architecture and design firm SHH is now a practice of more than 50 people working globally on architecture, design and branding projects.
Many of SHH’s retail, hospitality, nightclub and office clients are in the luxury category, but their client list includes also names such as Sheraton, Adidas, Pizza Hut, Aphostrophe and McDonald’s. - Tuija Seipell
This streamlined and crisp office environment in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is the work of Sergey Makhno’s design and architecture firm. The play between soft and hard, round and angular, plain and colorful creates a sense of whimsy and energy, but does not overpower the space.
The Kiev-based Makhno and his partner Vasily Butenko have used their own distinctive furniture throughout the interior.
The wine-colored, square-form Origami chairs in the small meeting room contrast beautifully with the azure walls and simple, white table. Black, padded Blobby office chairs give a soft touch to the sparse individual office areas, while the shiny blue rounded sofas add a playful touch to a flexible, multi-use area.
Corian walls “buckle” on top of wood paneling, exposing the wood and creating nooks for storage and soft, undulating features for the eye to follow. Makhno’s work has been featured in local and regional publications, but we expect to see more of it around the world. - Tuija Seipell
Theo Altenberg has been active in so many artistic genres that it seems like a silly simplification to call him a painter.
There is an intriguing drama in his yummy olis-on-cardboard that hints to his other talents. In these seemingly random splashes and smears of mixed oily color, the viewer finds him- or herself looking for scenery, people, recognizable forms.
Whether this was Altenberg’s intention or not is irrelevant. What matters is that it gives us pause. We look. We see.
The 59-year-old Altenberg was born in Mönchengladbach, Germany, and lives in Berlin. He is an actor, singer, painter, photographer, writer, performer.
He’s even played the role of Andy Warhol in a 1991 film, Andy’s Cake, directed by Terese Panoutsopoulos. Most of Altenberg’s work and collaborations have taken place in Europe. - Tuija Seipell
Beautifully shot video of iconic blogger - Scott Schumann, aka, The Satorialist
TCH ACCESS agency's collaboration with the world's best brands and ad agencies continues. We are working on a number of fun projects with car brands, property developers, sports brands, beverage (alcohol and non) brands, movie studios.
Last fall, BMW's event agency, EWT invited ACCESS to create the Mini Indoor Drive In Cinema for the launch week of Mini Countryman to the Italian media. We also created a video presentation about the World of Innovation for the same event.
Since we first featured the drive-in cinema and the Mini car-wraps, we have been asked by numerous Mini dealers around the globe to create them for their showrooms. So, this year, we will be creating many more exciting and innovative Mini experiences in various international markets. Stay tuned - Bill Tikos