PhilaU Students Win TD Bank-Sponsored Competition with Innovative Design

(Left to right) Paul Nye, Joanne Thieu, Cathy Zupancic, Patricia Oliveira, Ryan Sison, Jim Grimmer and Martha MacInnis with the winning design at the TD Bank-sponsored student design competition.

TD Bank officials presented three Philadelphia University students with the first-place award March 1 as part of the student competition to design TD Bank’s energy-efficient store of the future.

“We were blown away by the quality of student work for this project,” said Paul Nye, vice president for design strategy at TD Bank. “We thought we could almost start building [the winning design] right now.”

The competition included students from Philadelphia University’s architecture and interior design programs, who incorporated their knowledge of sustainable building design into fully-developed models for a TD Bank branch in the year 2020. The competition was integrated into six architecture and interior design studio courses, and included expert feedback from TD Bank executives in the Enterprise Real Estate division.

PhilaU students Patricia Oliveira, Ryan Sison and Joanne Thieu won first place in the contest, earning a cash prize, tickets to a Philadelphia Phillies game in TD Bank’s ballpark suite, and a trip to Toronto to present their design at TD Bank Group’s Enterprise Real Estate annual conference in May. TD Bank also presented monetary awards to the second- and third-place winners in the contest.

Oliveira, Sison and Thieu won for their “TD Touch” design, which incorporated a touchscreen and electronic check-in system into their bank design, which would allow customers to quickly and easily identify their banking needs and be directed to the appropriate station. The system would eliminate lines in TD’s stores and live up to the brand’s tagline as “America’s Most Convenient Bank.”

“Every single one of the submissions we received was fabulous,” said Linda Verba, executive vice president and head of retail banking at TD Bank. “They captured the magic of the TD Bank brand and really impressed all of the judges.”

The TD Bank partnership with Philadelphia University comes as the bank prepares to open its 50th TD Bank store targeting LEED sustainability certification and almost a year after it opened the first net-zero energy bank in the U.S.

“In the last two years, we’ve really pushed the envelope in designing and constructing stores that are targeting or have achieved LEED certification,” said Gerry Guidice, SVP, Head of U.S. Real Estate and Chairman of TD Bank’s Green Council. “To continue the momentum to be as green as our TD logo, we want to incorporate emerging architecture techniques into the bank’s next generation green store design, which we believe we can get from the creative and innovative minds of Philadelphia University’s students.”

Each student team presented their digital and hand-crafted models to a panel of TD Bank and Philadelphia University judges on March 1, when the winners were chosen.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with TD Bank to develop a vision of the future of banking,” said D.R. Widder, the University’s executive director of innovation. “This type of real-world, active education in collaboration with industry partners is what PhilaU’s multidisciplinary approach to innovation and sustainability is all about.”

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