The Credit Union Journal’s Special Report on The ‘branch of the future’ highlights the necessity that credit union branch design must incorporate both high tech and high touch. To illustrate the point, the reporter spoke to Island Savings Credit Union COO, Randy Bertsch and Christopher Pollard, principal, RATIO who described some of the thought behind the Island Savings “branch of the future” concept.

Major upgrades to the Ruskin Generating Station facility will increase operational efficiency, rehabilitate the aging exterior and the addition of numerous ancillary buildings and elements critical to modern operations. RATIO is a working with key stakeholders and BC Hydro on all aspects of the project. This 1930’s Art Deco facility will continue to provide clean, dependable power to British Columbia.

Imagine a venue dedicated to education, stewardship and community engagement in one of the most ecologically diverse parks in the Metro Vancouver region; imagine a new Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre. RATIO designed this unique campus design which will incorporate the existing Bell-Irving Hatchery, a stewardship building and the unique outdoor learning environment offered by Kanaka Creek Regional Park and its ecosystems.

The Vancouver Public Library’s Inspiration Lab is coming early in 2015. The RATIO led design will be 6000 square feet and offer library visitors a place to learn, collaborate and create with free digital tools. The Vancouver Sun reported on the massive undertaking to get the space ready which includes moving about 750,000 books, 800 bays of shelving and 50 computers and workstations.

To celebrate 100 years of architecture in British Columbia, the Architecture Foundation of British Columbia is staging the 100 Best Buildings Contest.

This spring BC residents were invited to nominate their favourite building in which to live, work or play. Nominations could be any structure or building in British Columbia that are best-loved, for whatever reason.

Nominations have closed but now it is time for the public to vote for their favourites to make up the Top 100 Buildings. Have your say and vote now. The top 25 will be chosen from each of the four regions. This October judges will determine the top 3 winning buildings from each region.

Island Savings Chemainus branch recently opened in the new Chemainus Village Square. RATIO led the corporate wide reimagination which included a branch design concept and implementation strategy. The Chemainus location ‘branch of the future’ is the 5th in the concept rollout. Even though Chemainus is the smallest branch in system, the 25’ high ceilings, full height exterior glazing and open plan make the space feel larger than it is; modern and welcoming. RATIO leveraged Island Savings new brand identity by using the already-iconic “sand dollar” motif as the basis for a 16’ x by 47’ 3D mural. The mural runs the width of the branch, acting as a unifying element that ties together all member facing branch components including entry, atm vestibule, greeter, members lounge, and teller wickets within the open plan.

Envision Financial, under the umbrella of First West Credit Union has opened the door to a new way of banking. It also introduces a fresh, cohesive design concept for the merged credit union network under First West. Their newest branch, at Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack, introduces this new member experience. During the design and planning process RATIO and the First West team re-imagined the credit union from the perspective of its true definition: a cooperative organisation of individuals for a common purpose; and as a key community stakeholder. Design decisions were made based on the client’s very successful brand drivers.

The Vancouver Public Library Foundation has launched an innovative fundraising campaign on Fundrazr for their free digital lab project dubbed the Inspiration Lab. Check out their video and donation rewards on Fundrazr. You’ll find out what the Inspiration Lab is all about and hear from project supporter Ace Fipke, CEO & Founder of Nerd Corps Entertainment.

RATIO is proud to lead the creative design for the Inspiration Lab. RATIO, in consultation with library staff, has helped to define and refine the new Inspiration Lab space. The plan for the lab maintains a cohesive link to the existing library architecture designed by renowned architect, Moshe Safdie. The sketch above shows how different activity zones will relate to one another and fit in within the original library space.

Imagine a place where you can create, explore and bring ideas to life. This is the concept of VPL’s Inspiration Lab – a free public space to nurture the talent and creativity of our city. A hub for learning and experimenting with traditional, digital and new media. VPL’s Inspiration Lab will be an incubator – a place where the next generation of Vancouver’s digital and creative community gets its start. Ratio is proud to work with the Vancouver public Library on this innovative project.

The Vancouver Public Library Foundation needs your help to bring the Inspiration Lab to life. Fundraising efforts have begun with a goal to raise $500,000. Click here to help.

Canada’s Green 30 list identifies companies that integrate sustainability programs into their workplace culture. This  collection of Canadian businesses whose employees, according to consulting firm Aon Hewitt, are most positive about their record of environmental stewardship.  More about the Green 30 can be found in Maclean’s. This year’s list included Island Savings and Vancity.  We… Read more »