Let’s make ING banks cozy again. It became kind of our motto over the last few years. There was a need to move away from grey counters, weak coffee and an impersonal welcome. So together with ING, we created a whole new interpretation of a bank. ING became a welcoming host that serves you great coffee and personal advice in a warm atmosphere. After ING Amstelveen and ING Leeuwarden and many more, it was time for the transformation of ING La Vie in Utrecht.

Something is brewing down at the Lange Vie street number 1 in Utrecht. The monumental property is occupied by a powerful partnership between the ING House and De Stadstuin (‘the city garden’).

The bank of the future that we created for ING has been renowned for some time now and the concept is being rolled out all over Europe. What is different here in Utrecht, is the collaboration with De Stadstuin, a local partner. By joining forces, an even stronger hospitality feel was achieved. The goal is to empower young entrepreneurs to meet at ING La Vie, turning it into a breeding ground for creativity and entrepreneurship. Something you would not associate with a bank right away, yet it creates a personal and surprising angle for clients. The positive energy is palpable throughout the office and is passed on to visitors.



The concept

With the digital revolution in the banking sector in mind, ING decided the way they accommodate visitors should be changed accordingly. In order to find out how to translate the idea into a new office space, we started a thorough research into the way staff and clients could interact. Our investigation gave us great insight into the possible setup of this new type of bank, functionally as well as aesthetically.

We made drastic changes to both the functional layout and the look and feel of the office. We concluded that, to raise the bar beyond traditional banking and contribute to this Love Brand and commercial strategy, we would need a concept that brings the customer experience to the next level. This approach can be sensed in the way clients are addressed and tended to, but in the overall atmosphere of the interior as well.

The La Vie lobby is a place where entrepreneurs in Utrecht are empowered and inspired. They can connect in an informal and personal setting, allowing for commercial and personal growth. In need of a break from your usual workplace or simply a cup of coffee in another environment? The coffee bar accommodates both.

Together with De Stadstuin, ING offers the opportunity to rent meeting spaces. Are you looking for a place more suited to workshops? The mezzanine with the famous Wheelbench, by the Weltevree design label, is the perfect spot for you. Need a space more suited to meetings? De Stadstuin rents out meeting rooms for up to 16 people.

On a functional level this approach meant leaving out the omnipresent counter, typical for any bank. ING clients can still wait in a warm coffee bar named ‘Black Gold’ on the first floor. Self-banking is done on the ‘workbench’, where all digital touchpoints are available and staff is helping and advising people on the how-to’s of digital banking. Personal conversations can be had in open, semi-closed or completely private rooms. The staff’s offices are on the first and second floor and blend in with the public space. As a result, the bank takes on a more human face. 

Banking brands love to throw their corporate colors right in your face. The ING orange is now subtly integrated in the natural color palette. The interior colors are warm and the atmosphere is laid-back. Wood and other textural materials were used. We created a public space that feels like a private space.

More ING offices are transforming at the moment! Keep an eye on our website to discover the next one(s).

Scope of work

Interior design




Utrecht — Netherlands


ING Bank Netherlands