ABCU Credit Union

Renovations / Strategy → Design → Interiors / 4,000 SQ. FT.

The Challenge

Merging different credit unions together is never an easy task. It’s important to respect pre-existing traditions and members while still leaving room for growth and a new brand. After three different credit unions merged to become ABCU Credit Union, ABCU knew they needed to find a unified brand and design for their location. Their last renovation was over 20 years prior, they weren’t properly utilizing their space, and their technology was old and outdated. They searched for someone to help them reach their full potential, to pay homage to their long-time members, to present a fresh space for new members, and to embrace their new brand. They found NewGround.

The Journey

The client agreed that their primary focus would be downsizing their space to match their needs, but they also knew they needed new branding. ABCU wanted a brand entirely focused on their members, including new colors and a new design. Each of the combined branches had a different history of members they had worked with, from community service to health care to public transit. Uniting all these different members and brands into one cohesive brand space was challenging, but NewGround was up to the task.

NewGround worked to incorporate previous aspects and themes of each individual credit union into the space while working with a unified look. This included creating signature feature graphics that expressed the brand and could be used in future branch refreshes. The design celebrates their new brand by translating it into the physical environment through color, finish, furniture style, and overall function. The design incorporates existing custom artwork into the space, such as a piece created by Lucy, an elephant at their local community zoo that created art pieces. ABCU City Center was very proud of these pieces and wanted to continue showcasing them to demonstrate their love for their community.

NewGround is dedicated to crafting spaces for our clients, but also for their staff. ABCU knew their staff spent the most time in the space and wanted to accommodate them with new and updated amenities. One of the first things NewGround does when working on a new project is an interview and meet with staff. We survey staff members to determine their needs and design spaces built around their feedback. We also upgrade staff amenities.

Previously at ABCU’s site, the kitchen area was tired and unwelcoming, so we expanded the kitchen to include a coffee bar and better breakroom equipment. NewGround understands the value and importance of making sure spaces are accessible to everyone, so we modified and changed the bathrooms to be up to code and wheelchair friendly. Furthermore, we added a space between the cash vault and teller stations for a multi-use room that could serve as a board room or smaller meeting room. This was done by utilizing an operable wall that could divide the space in half depending on daily needs.

NewGround also implemented hotel offices, a new concept that integrates open desks for any staff to use when they come to the office as opposed to working from home. We also added in forward stations for executives, teller transaction stations, engagement areas, and a sitting area.

Another major innovation that NewGround implemented was the invention of powered and height adjustable teller counters. This lets tellers and staff adjust their desks and tables to not only meet their own needs, but the direct needs of the members they are working with as well. Accessibility was extremely important for the client, and NewGround was happy to deliver cutting-edge innovations for their benefit.

The Destination

The overall result of NewGround and ABCU’s collaboration is a beautiful, innovative space with brand new accessibility options. With environmental graphics and interior design paying attention to both the detailed history of ABCU and their new direction moving forward, ABCU was extremely happy with the end result. Dynamic and beautiful lighting highlights the space and showcases collaboration and sitting areas for members, and the overall use of the space was completely revitalized. NewGround was happy to work on this project, and we, like the client, are extremely pleased with the end result.