Islandsbanki Retail interior design - Branch transformation - Iceland




Continuing a long and successful partnership with Íslandsbanki that commenced back in 2007, allen international undertook a complete re-think of their present operational model and customer experience to create Islandsbanki’s next generation of branches.

The demands made of the design strategy lay in the need to develop a modern retail environment that reached out to the local community. In addition, the operating environment had to be capable of facilitating the high levels of relationship management and service levels to which the bank aspired. It must also reflect the bank’s strong commitment to social media. A fundamental goal for the design was to ‘Deliver No1 Service’ in the local banking market.

The rationalisation of two branches into the new ‘Grandi’ harbour-side neighbourhood offered the opportunity to introduce a fresh retail concept with strong out reach to a new, dynamic community flourishing from start-up companies in the vicinity.

The design is built upon 3 distinctive, interlinked zones:

The ‘Quick Serve Zone’ at the front of the branch integrates facilities for self service, tellers and a quick-service or enquiry desks, providing a fast and efficient operational space to serve the customers everyday banking needs by assisting them in the use, and promoting adoption of the self service channels.

The ‘Community Lounge’ is located at the heart of the ‘Íslandsbanki’s House In Grandi’. A relaxed, purposely homely environment where customers can relax, enjoy complimentary coffee, socialise, and chat to the branch hosts. Online banking is offered alongside interactive pods demonstrating the banks ‘Worlds of service’ – each a digital showcase of their main product and segment offers. A key component of this space is the showcase and access to the banks social media channels. The bank has become a major digital communicator and each branch is represented on FaceBook. The branch offers a wide range of events for customers and the community, discussing financial services or other business topics. In addition, the public space of the branch provides an important venue and showcase for the banks own equivalent of ‘Ted Talks’ and seminars.

The final area, set off the central community lounge, is the ‘Engage & Advise’ zone. Consulting staff share agile meeting spaces, meaning they are each provided a dedicated workspace within the back office, coming forward when meeting customers in one of the shared cabin like meeting booths. This greatly improves operational efficiency and optimises retail space allocation, but also fundamentally shifts the focus of the one to one meetings according to the needs of the customer. Two further meeting rooms, which are built into a sea container, provide a focal point for the space and injects a sense of wit into the design that directly reflects the maritime community within which the branch is located. The meeting rooms will continue to be a unique brand signature of the designs for future Íslandsbanki branches, providing their own aesthetic for the spaces and a talking point for customers who visit.


To develop a modern retail environment that reaches out to the community.
To facilitate the high levels of relationship management and reflect the bank’s commitment to social media.


Introduced a fresh retail concept with the emphasis on projecting the strong brand values of the bank. 


The new retail concept provides a fresh expression of the bank’s strategic objectives and brand positioning.