UK FX operator ChangeGroup have launched their stylish new tax refund lounge at the prestigious luxury outlet Bicester Village. ChangeGroup wanted to reinterpret itself in a way that challenged the conventional appearance of a Bureau de Change/ Tax Free lounge by creating a concept which had a fashion edge.

DRAW Creative Design were invited to work with the group to help visualise their aspiration keeping the groups core values of Trust, Quality and Service at the heart of the design.

‘We focused on characterising the groups personality through materiality and form by using traditional materials in a more contemporary way, the marble flooring for example was abstracted in its layout and pattern. The series of monolith counters were set on a subtle angle and clad in a signature blue silica stone counters to make them confident but playful.

Divided into 2 purposeful zones, the main area maximises on space and light, and has been designed for more heavy traffic with harder finishes, large format tiles and a bespoke counter lighting feature. This then transitions to a lounge which has a more tactile, domestic feel using Kvadrat fabrics, soft bench seating, halo lighting and a lowered ceiling.

Security and operation is the paramount to FX businesses, so revisiting how we can design an experience that doesn’t appear to be lead by this was a challenge. Removing the the barrier of security glass of the tax refund processing is almost revolutionary for this type of business but the unique way that ChangeGroup operates permitted us to separate the non cash and cash parts of the transaction allowing the customer to directly communicate with staff to have a more ‘human’ service encounter.

Terry Clark
Author: Terry Clark