On its website, BBCN, one of the largest Korean-American banks in the nation with $5.8 billion in assets and 45 branches, asserts its goal to redefine Asian American banking and serve the emerging Korean-American entrepreneur. Most customers of BBCN are more apt to recognize how differently they experience banking given BBCN’s use of mobile technology set amid the contemporary interiors that convey their fresh thinking.
Banks are known, and often lamented, for their incremental change, hushed tones, and slow pace. And yet, Caliber Construction’s recent work to prepare a circa-1923 building for a flagship 17,000sf branch and banking services office complex in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles at Olympic and Western will feature some of BBCN’s newest, most progressive service and product offerings. When BBCN goes on to complete the build-out, the complex will have a host of new features that will be, “much like a hotel’s reservation center”, according to the facility’s architect, Peter Bena of Bena Design Partnership. The build out will include a 2000sf VIP section with 17 foot ceilings and walls embedded with large LED screens. The large lobby will have an interactive directory – like that of a large office building — with touch screen functionality and three kiosks from which the bank’s clients can perform research or complete transactions. Roving customer service assistants will be on hand to respond to questions and guide customers to a specially designed VIP section for enriched conversations and transactions.
In an earlier project for BBCN building out a 2000sf space in Fullerton, Caliber’s construction team embedded wall monitors and ALUR walls – one of the best frameless glass front and modular dividing wall systems – and installed a natural grey polished concrete floor that evokes the brand’s contemporary aesthetic. Caliber installed the teller line on a radius and a hyper-white interior – white ceiling, white CorianÂ® counters and a white marble floor – giving the interior and brand a distinctly minimalist feel.
If analysts are on target that the banking industry faces rising consumer expectations to embrace technology, then BBCN – and companies like Caliber who bring their customer-facing brick and mortar spaces to life — will be better able to pivot into new technology offerings when they emerge.