Creating the perfect space

First United Credit Union’s remodel focuses on brand, creating an open, relaxing atmosphere.

by. Stephanie Schwenn Sebring

For $30-million/5,000-member First United Credit Union, Grandville, Mich., a fresh brand and perspective was essential in a recent and aggressive remodel. “We created a free flowing environment where the member enters through a welcoming and airy waiting area, adjacent to [member service representatives] and loan offices,” says CEO Mark Richter. “We intentionally planned for members to walk past the loan offices, our profit centers, rather than heading straight to the teller area.”

Taking its existing facility, the CU used light and space to create a relaxing environment conducive to conversation. A mixture of 8- and 10-foot ceilings provide spaciousness, while attractive “clouds” or patterned drop ceilings offer an artistic effect which keep noise levels down. While visually appealing, the space is also easy to navigate.

The teller counter was revamped to avoid the traditional straight-line look for a more inviting feel. By combining light and space, what was once a darker, somewhat drab workspace was transformed into a beautifully-designed, efficient work area members look forward to visiting.

Richter believes that the branch should be a reflection of member needs. “It gives them a chance to relax and get to know us. It’s our opportunity to build the relationship.”

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