Westpac, Christchurch: retail design and digital solutions

A dynamic environment that shares its space with the city, Westpac’s Christchurch flagship explores big ideas and includes contemporary measures to improve staff safety.

  • Client

  • Westpac New Zealand
  • Services

  • Retail design
  • BIM / Digital
  • Site

  • The Terrace, Christchurch CBD
  • Sectors

  • Retail
  • Interior design
  • Date

A dynamic environment that shares its space with the city, Westpac’s Christchurch flagship explores big ideas and includes contemporary measures to improve staff safety.

###The challenge Create a lively environment within this 270-square-metre branch that speaks to the surrounding city spaces, and look to global best-practice to design in modern methods of keeping staff safe. ###Our solution for the client City plazas that fizz with urban life mark Christchurch’s regeneration masterplan, and one of them — The Terrace, a $140-million riverfront development at the heart of the city — is home to Westpac’s newest flagship branch. A homecoming statement of sorts, the Terrace is a five-storey building that will accommodate 114 Westpac staff. The brief offered a twofold challenge. First: create an energising environment within the 270-square-metre branch that meshes with the surrounding city spaces. And second: design in measures to keep Westpac’s staff safe. In response to the first request, the branch both invites the plaza in and reaches invitingly out. Over 30 metres of floor-to-ceiling glass façade pull the city’s humming energy into the retail space, while the reclaimed-timber wall — a visual nod to the Christchurch rebuild — extends from the lobby into the public realm and the stone floor echoes the muted tones of the plaza’s paving. Seating modules within the branch can be rearranged for evening community events, offering another way the space can engage with the city. At night, the digital wall’s 14-square-metre screen (used to show educational content and promotional clips) adds life and classic city spark to the plaza’s neon bustle. As an answer to the second challenge — the serious matter of staff safety — we designed counter heights, depths, and fixtures to minimise and mitigate any risks that tellers might face from unpleasant behaviour. Meeting rooms come complete with a discrete staff exit door, providing safe passage away from confrontation. The Terrace flagship also demonstrates Westpac’s commitment to excellent customer service and customer experiences. Based on task-defined zones — a 30-second ATM trip, a three-minute interaction with a teller, a 30-minute session with an advisor — the floorplan facilitates smooth and easy staff-customer interaction and ensures Westpac’s clients can make the most of every visit, no matter the length. There’s even a concierge desk to help customers find exactly what they need. The branch’s lighting and aesthetics visually and atmospherically encourage these positive customer experiences, with ceiling lights that mimic the pleasant dapple underneath tree canopies cascading down to meet a sculptural seating-and-desking island. As you move deeper into the space, the materials soften, morphing from hard and solid surfaces to inviting carpeting and upholstered seating. Aubergine-hued meeting rooms feature acoustically absorbent felt wall panels to minimise external noise and provide a sense of comfort and privacy.

We used virtual reality environments throughout the design process. The client team, consultants, and contractors walked the space and we used their feedback to refine the design. This meant that we built trust with project stakeholders, got faster decisions from an involved client, and guaranteed a snag-free build.

The client team
Westpac NZ
"We can’t believe it; you built the visuals, exactly as presented.”

Related Work