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Banking in South Africa
11/5/2013

South Africa’s largest retail and commercial bank, ABSA, is currently exploring “banking of tomorrow” in its new branch in a mall near Johannesburg. ABSA brought the design consultancy “Allen International” on board to handle the planning of its new Clearwater location. A striking detail that is quite innovative for the South African market is the completely open and brightly lit foyer that leads from the mall straight into the bank branch. Following on from the central area are several public and private zones that are defined by different types of ambient lighting. New interactive concepts are being tested here for a variety of client groups and banking services. Those proving successful with customers and staff alike will in due course be implemented in the 900 ABSA branches around the country.

Allen International chose LED luminaires from Reggiani for the lighting concept. Exclusive zones destined for private banking clients offer privacy and confidentiality on the top floor, where UNISIO luminaires help create a relaxed ambience with gentle diffused light. By contrast, energy-saving “RE-LED-LUCE” luminaires deliver considerably more brightness on the ground floor, where a 25-meter-long video display wall demonstrates that ABSA’s way forward hinges on providing more extensive client communication. News of the bank’s social commitment is presented here along with sponsored projects and commercial activities in real space as well as on the screens. Small touchscreens that look like information boards enable clients to read about the bank’s welfare projects – and vote on which are their favorites.

Cutting-edge technology is destined to improve overall banking services, too. There are different terminals for simple transactions such as deposits and transfers, while touchscreens help clients to find the right partner for any service that requires a greater degree of advice. Finally, the bank’s visual identity has also undergone a makeover – thanks to the energy-saving LED-luminaires from Reggiani, which offer excellent color rendering, the ABSA logo and entrance walls now gleam in the very shade of red so characteristic of the bank.

The ABSA Bank foyer is bright and inviting thanks to LED luminaires by Reggiani. Plus the designers eschewed display windows as these would chopped up the flow of the wall. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
The ABSA Bank foyer is bright and inviting thanks to LED luminaires by Reggiani. Plus the designers eschewed display windows as these would chopped up the flow of the wall. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
25 meters long, the video display wall places client communication on center stage. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
“Digital Forest” is the name the consultants at Allen International use for their array of small screens. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
Quiet individual meeting zones provide privacy for one-on-ones with clients. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
The area devoted exclusively to private banking clients has the look and feel of a luxurious lounge. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
The designers chose UNISIO luminaires from Reggiani with four LED sources for the exclusive private banking area. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
The central area is perfect for events and shines a spotlight on promotional activities. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
“Digital Forest” is the name the consultants at Allen International use for their array of small screens. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
The teller section has superb illumination thanks to 16 W LED luminaires from Reggiani. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
Sophisticated illumination in the meeting rooms – precise and on-the-spot thanks to LEDs from Reggiani. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography
Pleasant and above all glarefree lighting was accorded special importance in the meeting rooms for private banking clients. Photo © Bernhard Kristinn Photography

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