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Bank of Scotland revisits its roots

BASED in the heart of Glasgow, the Bank of Scotland’s flagship branch required a makeover that would add personality to the brand, while reflecting the bank’s proud Scottish roots. Specified by M Worldwide, an array of Forbo Flooring Systems solutions were installed throughout the building to help create a warm, welcoming space and provide the bank with its own identity.

While the Bank of Scotland has a strong history, having been established since 1695, it became part of the Lloyds Banking Group in 2009, as Helen Shelley, creative director at M Worldwide explains: ‘This refurbishment project gave us the ideal opportunity to establish the brand’s character and to create a rich visual story of its Scottish heritage.

‘With the bank being spread across three large floors, we opted for a design concept based around the idea of a ‘workshop’. Therefore, we took a very tactile approach and specified simple crafted furniture, finishes and materials – including the floorcoverings – that would create inviting spaces where customers and colleagues could meet and work together.’

Forbo’s Tessera In-Touch carpet tile planks in various colourways, including a bespoke shade, and Allura Wood Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) were chosen to create an integrated flooring scheme that would seamlessly connect the various areas of the space.

Alessia Crescentini, senior designer at M Worldwide, continues: ‘The colour scheme throughout the building was influenced by the natural elements of the Scottish landscape, with the suite of meeting rooms using colour palettes based on woodlands, highlands, lowlands and lochs. We chose colourways from Forbo’s Tessera In-Touch collection which would enhance this natural aesthetic, including the brown earthy tones Crochet and Macramé, the green hued Fresco, and the blue Calligraphy.

‘Forbo also created a bespoke Tessera In-Touch colourway for us, which we used in the main banking hall where we wanted to embrace the brand colours, while adding a little twist of colour from shades of heather. We were impressed with the service and the colour they produced – it was perfect!’

Forbo’s Tessera In-Touch carpet tile planks offer a beautiful handwoven, craft aesthetic with a rich luxurious texture. The colour concept for the range is composed of five complementing ‘pairs’ giving a palette of ten colours in total, with each one offering colour hues that diffuse along the width of the plank.

Helen and Alessia also created a bespoke feature using Forbo’s Allura Wood LVT to mimic the Saltire of the Scottish Flag, which was used on the first floor in the Business Hub and on the lower ground as a central flooring design.

Allura is reportedly one of Forbo’s most popular collections. It replicates natural materials such as wood and stone, without the associated installation and maintenance costs of these materials. Featuring natural colour variations and in-register embossing structures, the Allura Wood collection provides realistic aesthetics.

What’s more, as it’s available in an array of installation formats, the range also enables designers to create unique flooring spaces, like the one Helen and Alessia have achieved at the Bank of Scotland.

To enhance the ‘workshop’ design concept, Helen and Alessia also wanted to create a large communal table, which would feature a graph and scale design printed onto it to replicate a tailor’s table or a drafting table.

Helen continued: ‘After a lot of investigation and then discussions with Mark Jackson, the key account manager at Forbo, we came to realise we could have our design printed onto Forbo’s Furniture Linoleum.

‘The exceptional quality of the print combined with the beautiful and soft finish of Furniture Linoleum, has created a wonderful and warm crafted effect. It’s exactly what we wanted to achieve.’

Forbo’s Furniture Linoleum is widely recognised for its exceptional combination of aesthetic and practical properties and holds numerous prestigious awards including the Red Dot design award, the award for Good Industrial Design and the Interzum Award. It’s also a high-performing sustainability winner as it is manufactured from a very finely ground linoleum granulate, which is created from pure oxidised vegetable linseed oil and natural pine rosin to which wood flour and colour pigments are added.

Alessia concluded: ‘The world of banking has changed significantly. In the Bank of Scotland’s flagship branch, customers are welcomed into spaces that have an atmosphere akin to those found in the hospitality sector. In fact, the bank has received excellent feedback from its customers, with them commenting on how warm and welcoming it is, while being easy to navigate.

‘For us, we’re delighted with the new design concept. We feel that the bank now has its own identity and DNA. It feels established. The colour palette, along with the warmth and richness of the finishes have all come together beautifully to create a memorable customer experience. Plus, we now have a strong design language of parts, furniture, features and finishes which we can use across the Bank of Scotland estate.’

To find out more about Forbo’s work in the retail sector please visit or to pre-register for the Fly Forbo 2021/22 competition, visit

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