Bank of Montreal First Canadian Place, Flagship Branch
In 2011, based on Kearns Mancini’s longstanding relationship with the Bank of Montreal, the firm provided a complete re-design of BMO’s flagship branch in the financial district of Toronto, Ontario. This project would represent the Bank of Montreal’s open and interdisciplinary relationship with their clients and reflect their brand principles to Simplify, Understand, and Guide.
Since 1990, Kearns Mancini Architects have been the Bank of Montreal’s prime consultant for Ontario. Over the past 24 years, Kearns Mancini have successfully completed over 150 numerous types of bank projects across Ontario ranging from flagship to neighbourhood branches. Kearns Mancini Architects is also responsible for working with the Bank’s Corporate Real Estate department in implementing Bank Standards to consultants and contractors across Canada. This relationship with the Bank of Montreal was implemented first hand to design the bank’s flagship branch at the First Canadian Place in Toronto, Ontario.
Located at the intersection of King Street West and Bay Street in Toronto’s Financial District, the current flagship branch sits at the base of the Bank of Montreal tower in First Canadian Place. Following a need to revitalize the branch, based on a re-branding of the bank’s reputation as one which creates a connection between positive customer experiences and the strength of design in the banking environment. The project’s goal is to re-vision the First Canadian Place Main Branch as one that re-defines the BMO branch experience.
The design strategy implemented leverages the prominence of King Street & Bay Street as a means to project the Bank of Montreal’s brand within an urban setting. The promotion and delivery of the Bank of Montreal brand principles to “Simplify, Understand, & Guide,” are intended to take place in an urban, large scale multi format/multi-level setting, with separate banking areas for private and business banking, as well as an open floor plan that encourages an engaging and open relationship between banker and client.
Financial District, Toronto, Ontario
Gross Project Area
24,860 sq. ft.
Tony Mancini, Donna Eng, Keith Button, Heather Button, Tan Duong, Dustin Hooper, Ivana Ristic, Eric Johnson, Mike Koutsoulias, Kearns Mancini (Architecture & Interior Design), Figure 3 (Customer Experience, Branding & Planning)
The goal of the design of the existing space is to leverage the transparency and accessibility of the site by allowing the main banking hall to become a stage which projects onto the prominent intersection in the Financial District. Embrancing the various entrance points at First Canadian Place, an intent to capture the huge traffic flow potential at concourse and street levels was a main focus in the design, aligning access points with the delivery of the bank’s services.
Kearns Mancini is also working with the Bank of Montreal’s marketing team in order to integrate marketing opportunities and create powerful communication platforms that project the BMO brand at all scales; urban, vehicular, pedestrian and private. The project will be a prominent icon in the financial district of Toronto and is intended for completion in December of 2014.
View across King Street
From the beginnings of working with both Tony, Jonathan, and the teams, I have appreciated the creative, thorough and responsible methods that have been brought to address our appearance standards, retail design, functional planning, design development, and construction detailing.
Robert J. Gregoire
Former Chief Architectural Design, BMO Financial Group