Renovations can transform both the identity and functionality of any building when the best teams involved in the task – architects, main contractors, subcontractors, engineers, quantity surveyors and all – have executed the client’s brief well. A renovation can give any infrastructure a distinct look and feel that enhances a company’s corporate image and inspires the occupants while adding to the regeneration of its surroundings.
Completed on the 1st of December, the newly renovated seven storey BancABC building is located at 67 Samora Machel Avenue, directly opposite the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The building now has a renewed pride of place within the Harare CBD, complementing the distinct skyline of the city. The key architectural features of the building are a modern and timeless structure that reflects the calibre of a leading financial institution while meeting the requirements of a spacious banking hall.
The extent of the renovations encompassed a complete refurb that required changing all the floor and wall finishes, ceilings, electrical and plumbing work, new furniture and fixtures and landscaping.
Before the renovation, the building was a banking hall for another large banking institution with offices on the mezzanine floor. BancABC stuck with the same approach, though with several new features.
There are two sections of the reception area, the larger one is positioned as you enter to allow for quicker and easier customer interfacing while the smaller one overlooks the counters for normal banking and remittances.
The entrance has elegant stonework cladding which gives a sense of corporate gravitas and dependability as well as complements the exterior branding on the façade. The design of the branding is striking and imposing making the new banking hall easily identifiable for both foot and vehicular traffic along the ever-busy Samora Machel Avenue.
The ground floor provides facilities for the transactional services of the bank such as normal banking – cash withdrawals and deposits and foreign currency remittances – sending and receiving cash. The first floor is reserved for non-transactional services.
The queries section catering to both new and old customers is spacious while non-cash transactional clients have been catered for on the mezzanine floor of the building. Both the ground floor and mezzanine floors have been designed to comfortably accommodate as many clients as possible.
The ATM cubicle has been redesigned and the space is large enough to decongest the anticipated increased foot traffic into the banking hall. This aspect was informed by the fact that the ATM normally attracts more customers due to its ease-of-use, self-service feature; more convenient than conventional or face-to-face banking.
A large decorative blue light fitting is suspended above the centre of the banking hall echoing the bank’s corporate colours. It adds to a sophisticated feel of light and space. Blues and yellows are the colours chosen for the decorative paint.
Backup generators are in place in the eventuality of load shedding and clients have the assurance of uninterrupted service – 24 hours a day.
Distinct Designs and Construction were the designers and project managers of the renovation work. The main contractor was Architectural Aluminium which provided the suspended ceilings, partitioning and glass and continues to deliver high-end work in the Zimbabwean built environment.
The list of service providers for the project includes Claude Neon Signs (branding), Edloc Consulting Engineers (engineers), Soko Consult Africa (quantity surveyor), Renov-it Zim (electrical subcontractor) and Coldmate Air Con (mechanical subcontractor and air-con systems), as well as Adalet Fire Engineers (fire system) and Radio Solutions (intercom systems). Instant Gardens provided the landscaping and Only Italian supplied the office furniture.
Including the latest Heritage House building, BancABC now has a total of 19 branches and offices across Zimbabwe. Harare hosts their head office located in Mt Pleasant, the BancABC Private Banking Club, ABC Asset Management and ABC Stock Brokers. Other branches are in Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo, Mutare, Beitbridge, Hwange, Kwekwe, Triangle, Victoria Falls and Zvishavane and other towns.
The latest showpiece befits the title Heritage Branch, and from here BancABC looks ahead to a great new future with its portfolio of branches (and more to come) across Zimbabwe.
Text – Martin Chemhere
Photos – Fotohaus