Banks have been known to be places where money changes hands and its transaction IS the only activity. Until today, bank spaces usually follow simplistic designs with no distinct features. For many, the corporate colours would be the most recognizable element. But that is not the story for Chase Iman bank headquarters offices.
On the 3rd floor of the Delta Towers in Westlands, Nairobi sits the Chase Iman HQ offices . Unlike the official impression that the building creates from without, the Chase Iman offices are decked with homey interiors that breathe premium comfort, artistically crafted to replace an everyday office environment.
Designed and fitted by Morphosis Architects & Interior Designers. The spectacular spaces spark with warmth and vibrancy. This is enhanced by the strong Islamic and Swahili elements that are repeatedly but diversely visible in all the rooms.
The initial brief required that the floor would host two of the Chase Bank Group of companies. The Chase Iman HQ offices and the Genghis Capital. It was later revised, giving the entire floor to Chase Iman Bank. An arm of the Chase Bank Group that is fully Shariah compliant.
The brief changes would alter the prepared design hence resulting to change of functions for certain rooms. The redesigned layout comprised of one reception, the pool office, meeting rooms, dealing room, a break out area, prayer room, a gaming room, washrooms and the lifts. The entire floor accommodates over 80 people with room for growth.
At the reception, a striking feature wall in low relief Swahili motif faces the entry point. it embraces your arrival with pleasant artistry. Precast niches made of gypsum with coral stones are also carefully designed on the walls. They have brass trinkets, a feature that creates depth and enhances the coastal theme in the space.
The engineered Kalinga marble stone on the floor also gives your feet a rhythm as you approach the custom desk made of timber and corian. An innovation feat by the designer is the suspended MDF feature ceiling on the roof. The inbuilt seats at the waiting area are all white, designed to simplify the strong features on the floor, the walls and the ceiling of the grand reception.
From the reception, the corridors lead to the pool offices laid out to exclusively accommodate the executives, head of departments and their teams. Furniture arrangement in this space assumes an open plan. The most conspicuous feature in these spaces is the painting on the walls; gold and green with a white shade which are the corporate colors of Chase Iman bank.
The design here was intentionally kept simple to ensure minimal distractions as this is one of the most business engaged spaces with a lot of banking activities hence the clusters for team synergy.
There are two meeting rooms, both fitted with all white off -the-shelf furniture to create an aura of modernity. Their floors are made of carpet tiles. The walls are made of mvule timber and stained glass mimicking the Swahili culture. The ensemble keeps these spaces harmonized and well balanced with minimal décor to serve their specific functions effusively.
Feature timber screens with glass mosaic inserts hug the walls on the opposite sides at the break out area matching the suspended MDF box ceiling at the entrance. This space was designed to be intimate with interesting features and layout that allow users an outdoor experience within an enclosed area.
The space also assumes an introverted plan such that users are fully immersed into the warmth oozing from the rich design features in the area. The floor is made of timber and the walls of Swahili stained glass and brass lanterns that beam with diverse colours. Inbuilt feature seats made of timber enhance vibrance in the space.
The colors in the gaming room are invitingly warm and different from those in other spaces. The vibrant orange and blue shades on the glass wall with venile graphics infuse a strange but a playful feel. The orange cozy seats, a mega screen and other entertainment equipment grace the colorful space. Grooved MDF panels are safely but playfully suspended on the roof. Beautiful decorations are crafted on the brown mvule timber walls which adds to the cultural fun look intended for this space.
The key materials used in the holistic design are Mvule timber, stained glass with Swahili and Islamic touch, carpet tiles on the floor, MDF cut out grid work, gypsum on some wall and roof features, coral stones and pink tones of nero on the polished walls.
The gap between modern and traditional set up is well merged in this design giving banking spaces a brand new meaning. Adventure and innovation has also been fairly explored in the work resulting to unique and some eye-grabbing features that are rare in office environments.
Balance and harmony is well achieved with the strong features strategically concentrated in particular areas to uplift the less visible features.Withdrawing the user from the conventional modern office spaces usually characterized by plain glass partition and simple office furniture, Chase Iman HQ offices ooze with rich interiors carefully fitted with respect to the client’s taste and style.
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