Retail financial services has undergone a complete transformation with the advent of digital customer access. Following the universal adoption of ATMs and then mobile apps, banks have all searched for the best way to maintain customer relationships, broaden their offerings, and enhance their connectivity to their customers. Branch banks have evolved into 3-D marketing tools, helping express each institution’s unique value proposition and culture.

As architects and designers, our task is to discover the best way to express each bank’s personality in a way that distinguishes it from the competition. Some tout their innovative technology, some their community involvement, others their unique financial instruments. Working hand-in-hand with marketing, HR, real estate/facilities, IT, and retail services we create environments that speak to the customers even in a highly volatile retail world.

Having outgrown their previous space, The Berkshire Group relocated to a new floor within One Beacon Street. MP was able to take advantage of the empty floor as a blank slate for creating a new, updated design approach. Previously, employees at Berkshire had been separated from each other with high wall cubicles and enclosed offices. MP created a more open office that encouraged people to intermingle and gather. The new office is clean, sophisticated, and streamlined – reflective of the types of spaces they provide their own clients.

From the entry off the elevators, guests can look directly through the reception area and a large conference room to the dramatic exterior views. The glass fronts of the conference rooms and study adjacent to reception create light, open interior guest spaces. The staff’s focal point is a corner Club Room with views to the North End and Cambridge. Meeting spaces are scattered around the floor to provide different options, including more formal conference rooms.

The final design incorporated lining most of the perimeter with all-glass office fronts to maximize natural light in the space. Shorter wall partitions topped with glass fins open up the space while still providing full seated privacy. Gray tones throughout the space were accented with cherry wood veneer and splashes of deeply saturated accent colors.

After helping design SCS’s previous office several years ago, MP helped this leading wealth and investment management firm update the aesthetic in their new location to reflect the firm’s evolving identity.

Views and light were important to SCS, coming from a brick building with minimal natural light. MP’s design used plentiful glass and open sight lines to create a bright, dynamic, energizing space for its employees. The reception area was strategically positioned to take advantage of the new Prudential Center building’s striking views across Boylston Street.

To support the firm’s dedication to family wealth management, MP selected finishes that were elegant, yet classically understated. The firm’s signature blue provides a striking accent to light greys and warm wood tones. Playful cubical light fixtures in the reception area and elevator lobby are complemented by a textured concrete pattern throughout the elevator lobby, creating a striking and memorable entrance experience.