Barwa Bank

The Barwa Bank branch design concept has been one of the most challenging projects that Crea International has ever developed. This involved designing a highly progressive Islamic bank of the future, showcasing modernity and coolness strongly rooted in the tradition of Qatar.

The objective was to propose an environment aimed at customers who are familiar with innovative technologies, a bank where people would feel comfortable and welcome in a retail environment.

“Through the methodology of Physical Brand Design, Crea International team approached the project in a very logical and structured way,” said Viviana Rigolli, strategy director of the project. “In the first place, we looked at the history and traditions of Qatar to become familiar with the components of culture that the Qataris are proud of. We also analyzed the mission of Barwa Bank and the values it stands for, and finally we looked at banking models both in Western and Middle Eastern countries to build a strong point of difference and gap with current models.”

To ensure real distinctiveness versus current banking models and to build the most innovative bank, Crea International designed a new service standard. A central banking area hosting comfortable multifunctional workstations enables bank assistants to sit close to or in front of the client so that both can look together at the touch screen tables. This enables all banking functions to be performed in total transparency and be almost paperless.

The final result is a delicate balance between tangibility, simplicity, and intuitive fruition of space characterized by warmth.


Libero Rutilo, design director of the project, shed light on the creative process. “The original inspiration came from the landscape of Qatar. Dunes inspired smooth shapes mixed with clear cut geometrical lines as well as delicately colored desert flowers symbolizing energy and growth. The use of mother pearl and finely carved architectural walls translated into the desired precious look for Barwa Bank. The mother pearl luminescence dresses the whole space to capture Qatari colors while inlays with Islamic Arabesque run along perimeter walls.

“Resin, Corian and Barrisol were used to create a fluid, natural and morphological shaped architectural box. This not only hides technology but also imparts the space with a unique, cozy and enveloping identity. Clients can browse freely within the branch and do not need to queue for their turn. Each client is welcomed by a butler who registers them. Clients can look at the interactive tables showcasing banking new products or at innovative electronic devices displayed at the entrance”.

Finally, a fully transparent shop front characterizes Barwa Bank: no posters, no displays. The bank’s innovative design announces the arrival of a new bank in town.

To strengthen the uniqueness of Barwa Bank, all ATM machines and mobile branches were developed with the same strong design approach. The flower, iconic symbol of Barwa Bank, is now blossoming throughout Qatar.

Massimo Fabbro, CEO of Crea International, said he was extremely proud of the design concept for Barwa Bank. “The service model innovation developed for Barwa breaks the rules of current retail banking models. It introduces a free-flow and browsing approach and integrates and expands the self banking model on the one hand and strengthens the consultancy approach on the other. The final result is feasible either from the quality of design and the kind of service experience which are perceived as a fully integrated experience driven by our unique Physical Brand Design projectual methodology.”


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