Features   Business Week/Architectural Record Awards 2002 Finalist
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Ing Direct
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New York City

Photography © Hedrich Blessing

A trendy internet café entices new bank customers

Gensler www.gensler.com

Ing Direct

Key Player(s)
Marino Gerazounis & Jaffe Associates (engineers); CIC Construction (general contractor); Showorks (audio-visual consultant)

In an effort to be noticed, ING Direct entered the competitive U.S. banking market with an innovation: In their first Midtown Manhattan bank, they replaced the expected row of tellers with an upbeat café staffed by trained bankers and featuring coffee, soft drinks, and food, with free Internet access, newspapers and magazines, and branded merchandise in a modern, trendy setting. The scale and feel of the café and the colorful neon orange exterior draws potential customers inside. The success of the approach is measurable—in the first quarter of the year business grew from $4 billion to $7 billion. Underlying this achievement is a highly effective relationship that evolved between client and architect.

The Winners: Abercrombie & Fitch | Allsteel | Cellular Operations | Gateshead Millenium Bridge | Multi-Use Centre | Paul Brown Stadium | Texas Children's Hospital | Toys "R" Us | Trumpf Customer & Technology Center | Univ. of Penn. Dept. of Facilities and Real Estate | Valeo Electrical Systems

The Finalists: Arcs de Seine | Boeing\ Leadership Center | Gasometer B | Hansen Construction Office | ING Direct | KeySpan Park Stadium | Matha Stewart Living

Unbuilt Projects: BMW Event and Delivery Center | Hollister Headquarters