Chianti Banca - Florence

Hospitality at the bank

A tribute to the Chianti region
Elisa Montalti
Dario Garofalo
Crea International
Year of completion

The splendid landscape lying between the provinces of Florence, Siena and Arezzo has inspired the design of several branch offices of the Credito Cooperativo di Toscana bank. The innovative concept of the “restaurant banking experience”, based on the hospitality of local inns, has inspired the design of these high street banking outlets. The design employs the Physical Brand Design methodology, applied by CREA International Srl first in the head offices at Monteriggioni (Siena) and then in the various branch offices around the region, including the Florence branch. The aim was to convey the specific physical identity of the ChiantiBanca, deeply rooted in the history of this unique region. Tradition and values were therefore embodied in a warm, welcoming approach, characterised by the forms, materials and elements of a typical Chianti “osteria”, or inn. The basis for the layout is the traditional courtyard, where partners and customers are invited to discover ChiantiBanca products and events. The design of the interiors is intended specifically to avoid the typical cold and unfriendly atmosphere of a bank in favour of the welcoming environment of a Tuscan inn, in an innovative, informal approach. In the foyer, the customer is greeted by a consultant who directs him to the various counters. The space is divided into a number of waiting areas, with iconic wooden trusses, low central tables, high tables with stools and more secluded areas for private consultations. Brochures and tablets are placed on the tables as if they were restaurant accessories; a kindergarten area is available for smaller children to play in while they wait. The cash desks are located in the back office, since the design employs advanced ATM’s and automated cash services.
In this setting, the walls act as backdrops for the “courtyard”, while also promoting the local area. The excellences of the Chianti region are featured on a touchscreen videowall; the agricultural products of the bank’s partners are also featured on wall displays.
The spaces stand out for their use of natural materials, such as wood, and pastel colours like walnut and green. The white of the ceiling highlights the wooden beams, a reference to the trusses of Tuscan inns; the soft lighting is intended to reflect the soft look of the modular beige flooring, inspired by the refined qualities of marble. The floor is made of Coem’s Travertino Romano porcelain tiles, inspired by natural stone work; for this project, the Travertino Romano al Contro (cross-cut) design was chosen, which depicts the cut perpendicular to the stone’s veining.

Coem, Travertino Romano al Contro series
porcelain stoneware
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤0.1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 60.2 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10 (Naturale)
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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