As the great divide between Wall Street and Main Street continues to expand, a similar divide has appeared in the world of financial services. There are those who chose the Wall Street route and those who have stayed close to home. For Woodstock-based Acru, the Main Street route is not just a philosophical approach, it is an all-encompassing business strategy. The Acru model is based on relationships with advisors who relay sound advice based on insight and wisdom. With that understanding ai3, set out to design a space that would altogether redefine the banking experience.
Unlike traditional financial services, which focus on the transaction, Acru’s approach emphasizes relationships and stories. As such, ai3 has designed a space that has recreated the atmosphere of a small town with all the modern trimmings. Ai3’s design encourages people to slow down and interact. Inspired by Woodstock’s railroad heritage, Acru functions like a town square, filled with activity and loosely defined spaces. Upon entering, guests are greeted by casual associates manning the “wisdom bar.” Here a brief conversation helps to sort through the ten thousand foot view of individual needs and objectives. Directly behind the “wisdom bar” is a set of booths, designed to accommodate more discreet conversations with advisors.
Just beyond the entry, is Copper Coin Coffee, an independently owned and operated coffee bar located within Acru. This tandem business offering lends a dual purpose to the space, further emphasizing the sense of community that is part of Acru and giving it life beyond traditional banking hours. To that end, ai3 designed a set of bleachers built from re-claimed timbers, a visual nod to Woodstock’s former life as a railroad town. At night, these bleachers repurpose themselves for acoustic music or free public seminars.
Like a small town, Acru has its town square and it has living rooms where serious and discreet business discussions can take place. Behind the communal space, are a series of living rooms where advisors and guests can take their coffee and sit down one-to-one and discuss future goals.