Leading Korean financial institution Hana Bank is adapting to the digital era with a state-of-the-art private lounge for its customers, launching courtesy of Seoul design studio Intg. Located in the business district of Yeouido island in the South Korean capital, the space’s minimalist architecture has been carefully designed to offer the best digital service to its visitors, as the bank  enters a new phase where mobile and internet banking are central to its activities. 

This goal is clearly reflected in the design, which allows visitors to relax in the calm, uncluttered environment of Gold Club Yeouido, as the private banking lounge is called. In their research, the design team discovered that ‘in a highly digital environment, customers still visit bank branches to handle complicated tasks, which come with an emotional burden’. Their aim was to create an interior that makes customers’ interaction and time there as fresh and uncomplicated as possible. 

circulation area in hana bank’s private banking lounge in seoul

To achieve this, Intg blended the digital with the analogue and the physical, ensuring that while the private lounge club is fully kitted with the latest technology and can become a highly digital environment at the touch of a button, the customers can also experience a gentle, tactile interior full of textures and serene colour tones. 

Spanning over 1,100 sq m, the lounge spreads across two floors that cater to customers at different levels of membership – including up to exclusive, VIP-access-only areas. A glass enclosed, ‘floating’ meeting room at the heart of the space sets the tone with its clean lines and ethereal presence. A variety of areas around it serve different needs, in a flexible and adaptable way. This arrangement loosely reflects traditional Korean residential architecture, the Intg team explain, making visiting the bank both relaxing and friendly. 

‘The “floating” meeting room on blue sand’, appears modern yet is inspired by classical and Oriental elements, says the studio’s Kate Cho: ’It is designed to subtly reflect the way people enter a living space’, adds the studio’s Daniel Song and nods to Hanoks, traditional Korean houses. ‘Separate meeting rooms are placed like islands, similar to the Hanok structure. Intg chose hard metal, which comes to mind when thinking of a bank safe, as the main material.’ §

detail of glass enclosure at hana bank’s private banking lounge in seoul
rock garden at hana bank’s private gold club lounge in Seoul
seating within hana bank’s private gold club lounge in seoul’s yeouido