A forward-thinking credit union branch design helps First West achieve enviable financial performance. In June of 2014, the first of the Ratio designed Envision Financial branch concept opened in Chilliwack , BC at Garrison Crossing. With a visionary operational model, First West Credit Union’s investment into a future-focused branch network for their Envision Financial brand paid off with more new members and positive revenue results.
One of Canada’s National Historic Sites, the Triple Island Lighthouse, is to receive a complete heritage rehabilitation. RATIO has been commissioned to lead the design including a seismic upgrade and overall building refurbishment. Mike Mammone, RATIO principal, recently made a site visit and took these stunning shots from the helicopter and ground. RATIO’s work on this project is already underway with construction commencing this spring.
The conservation of heritage buildings results in economic, cultural and environmental benefits to communities. Municipalities see the impact of heritage conservation through civic pride and a sense of place with architectural diversity. Economic benefits are felt through tourism, enhanced property values and employment. The investment in heritage conservation — whether through preservation, rehabilitation, restoration or adaptive reuse — aligns with municipal sustainability strategies that will drive economic, cultural and environmental benefits to its residents. RATIO has worked on a number of heritage projects that have turned into award-winning, much loved public facilities.
The new Valley First Vernon Branch is the first of a network-wide design solution by RATIO featuring open, engaging branch spaces that promote staff interaction and personal service. Although part of the 40-plus First West Credit Union family, Valley First has a strong local brand and is a vital member of the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson communities. Branch members have a powerful connection to staff and the strength of this relationship is the framework for the branch network design. Our design solution features open, engaging branch spaces that promote staff interaction and personal service. The design platform also introduces subtle aesthetic cues through materials and finishes to acknowledge regional geographic and local demographic differences.
Recently, Business in Vancouver published a story related to the changes that have occurred with BC’s Credit Unions. The dichotomy of growing membership but fewer credit union brands is interesting and presents a challenge. The trend towards mergers in the sector means there are now fewer than 40 credit union brands compared to 1996 when there were around 100. Credit Unions are about community, people and relationships. So, how do Credit Unions keep brand consistency across credit union branches and communities? How does Credit Union branch design support those brand characteristics that set it apart from competitors and deliver on the promise of community support?
Recently published is a list of Canada’s Top 100 biggest infrastructure projects. Included is BC Hydro’s ambitious Ruskin Generating Station project (#64 on the list), a machine age hydroelectric station, still producing power but needing numerous upgrades to meet modern operating standards. RATIO is part of BC Hydro’s team on this complex, and interesting project. The Ruskin Generating Station has a historic role in British Columbia, significance to local and First Nations residents, and 1930’s Art Deco architecture. Find out more about the list, the projects, and how British Columbia ranks for projects on the go.
At the beginning of 2014, RATIO was launched. Our name is grounded in the importance of relations and relationships in our work. Between a building and its environment. Between citizens and structures. Between our firm and our clients. How do we live and breathe the RATIO story? On every project we bring distinctive thinking, rigorous creativity and a progressive approach.
We share a brief look back at our year….
Recently RATIO was asked by The Financial Brand for perspective on when a financial institution should rebrand. Having worked with some of Canada’s leading credit unions on rebrand strategies where the built environment is integral, RATIO has unique experience to share. The ‘when to rebrand’ question and perspectives offered up in the article are relevant for all businesses — not just FIs — who want to be competitive in their marketplace.
The best loved buildings in BC have been nominated and voted on in the Architectural Foundation of BC’s 100 Best Buildings Contest. RATIO is proud to have designed or involvement in four of the projects nominated. Nominations could be any structure or building in British Columbia that are best-loved, for whatever reason.
RATIO designed Salmon Arm Saving & Credit Union uptown branch was recently awarded ‘Best Retail’ in the sixth annual Southern Interior Construction Association Commercial Building Awards. In the spring of 2014, RATIO was awarded two 2014 BC Wood Design Awards in for this project: the Commercial Wood Design award; and RATIO principal Mike Mammone was honoured with the Architect Award.