Brechenmacher & Baumann, Augsburg
As an experiment the travel agent Helvetic Tours accompanied five trainees in the early stages of their career. After their traineeship they were able to carry on in their field of work - in their own travel agency. Helvetic Tours supported them with their project and we assisted them with the design concept for their agency.
Helvetic Tours is a Swiss tourist agency which specialises in easy-going, low-budget travelling for mostly younger customers. The brand has been on the market for a while but has only just been re-launched, as its parent company has been. Helvetic Tours has been able to establish themselves as a popular budget-travel specialist in Switzerland due to their coherent overall offer and image concept.
Helvetic Tours wanted to portrait their young, budget travelling philosophy in the interior concept of their agencies. At the same time they wanted to leave as much design input to the future agency managers as possible. We assisted them here and pointed out practicable aspects which could be included in the concept.
The former air raid shelter from the 1960ies is already a very specific type of building on its own. In order to stress the authentic, almost raw look of the building, only little was done to the spatial concept. The interior was to seem improvised and young, just as the design process actually took place.
Business communication should be straightforward for the young clients and target group. A smooth and unpretentious travel booking process had to be ensured, luxury or visible efforts put into the design would not be right here. For this reason we limited ourselves to few statements. The concrete floor was kept raw, core iron in the overhead lighting remained visible and correspond with the framework out of which the consulting tables were made. We created a bar by stacking recyclable bottles. That way we underlined the potent character by using everyday materials which are found in DIY stores or supermarkets, rather than in design catalogues.
The atmosphere of the agency equals the authentic, cool-rough sensation of aesthetics of the target group. The travel agency will be a location and meeting point without any ´social` inhibitions. The young customers book their trips in their own young world of experience. They can simply meet, discuss and be consulted. For the five young entrants the design process has turned into a professional project which serves as a foundation for their future.