New Work: Coutts Interiors
Whilst John Rushworth was working on a graphic identity for Coutts, the 300 year old bank approached William Russell to design a suite of three meeting rooms for the Private Office division of the bank in the Strand. The Private Office, which offers financial advice to ultra high net worth clients, had proved a successful part of the business and Coutts wanted to move this division into a more prominent location within its Headquarters building in the Strand.
Following a presentation of the proposals for these spaces, the initial limited brief was greatly extended to include a new interiors concept for all the client-facing spaces of Coutts Bank to achieve a consistent look and feel across the entire estate. There were a number of projects already underway or about to commence and these are the first branches to receive the new concept. These pipeline projects included the Coutts Headquarters in the Strand along with branches in Fleet Street, London, Birmingham, Poole and Singapore with a further branch in Mumbai due to open imminently.
The interior solution needed to be flexible enough to be installed in buildings that differ in terms of age and type whilst retaining a consistency of finish and detailing.
The colour scheme takes its cue from the brand guidelines using a limited palette of grey and red coupled with European Oak. Throughout the offices a sense of continuity is provided through a consistent datum level of new wall finishes which allows for rooms to differ in height.
For each of the interiors Russell designed the majority of the furniture, including the reception desks, writing tables, credenza units and meeting room tables.
In the Boardroom of the office in the Strand all four walls are covered with Chinese hand painted silk, a gift to Thomas Coutts in the 18th century. Russell commissioned Timorous Beasties to reinterpret this wall covering producing silk printed panels for every new Coutts office resulting in another unifying feature which also harks back to the history of the bank.