Notes from the Bureau: Banking in Style - Design Bureau

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Notes from the Bureau: Banking in Style

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Photo by Aaron Leitz Photography 

A bank isn't typically seen as a space for community building and inspiration- but from the interactive LCD screens that line its walls to its innovative conference rooms, that's exactly what San Francisco's Umpqua Bank was designed to be.

Created by McCall Design Group, the bank doubles as a financial center and technology-savvy community center- one that's complete with complimentary coffee, a concierge area, and a 20-foot touchscreen "Catalyst Wall" with  interactive resources for exploring financial and business goals. (The wall, in fact, is an extension of the bank's Catalyst Series, which invites business innovators to speak.)

"The bank is designed to engage both customers and the public," says McCall Design Group president Mike McCall, "providing business owners with tools, resources, and interactive space that they need to create and innovate."

Some of these resources can be found in the bank's lobby- a bright, spacious room that includes amenities like iPads, a wall-mounted bike rack, books, lounge seating, and a coffee bar stocked with a special Umpqua-blend coffee. The adjacent wall is home to the "Connect Bar," a community table that introduces customers to local businesses and that, according to McCall, also serves as a demonstration bar that features "everything from financial products to chocolate tastings."

But the bank's brightest gems may be the public conference rooms, which are equipped with technology for video calls and team computer use and can be rented free of charge for meetings and presentations.

"They have been very highly used and well received by the public," McCall says. "This architectural element supports Umpqua's mission to create a community resource in the heart of San Francisco."

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