Central Park, Central Loop

Finalist 2020

Central Park is located at the center of New York City and it is 2.5 miles long and 0.5 miles wide. Even though over 25 million people visit the park every year, it is easy to get lost because the existing wayfinding system is ineffective and is not interspersed throughout the park. It could be improved by layering map elements according to a defined hierarchy of information.

This new student-designed wayfinding system was developed in a unique way. The design is intended to harmonize with the natural site in terms of materials, shapes and colors, so that it does not disrupt the scenery, yet is noticeable to visitors.

The project Central Loop turns the widest linear path of the central park to a landmark, that can be found on the signage. The design is an extension of the site in terms of shape and materiality; the curvy structure follows the line of the landscape and the weathering steel, which develops according to the site's weather conditions. White silk screen printing would be applied on the Corten surface to avoid disrupting the natural setting. Instead of vivid colors, layering and texture variations are used, in extruded, and carved or dotted surfaces.

The structure would include two maps: one of the entire park, and one more detailed map of the immediate surrounding area. This hypothetical solution calls for greater than 60 wayfinding units to be installed on the site, and success would be measured with both quantitative and qualitative visitor interviews.

Design Firms: 

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

Client: 

NYC Parks

Project Area: 

36,000,000 sq ft

Open Date: 

May 20xx

Photo Credits: 

Changhyun Lee (renderings)

Design Team: 

Changhyun Lee

Consultants: 

Christina Lyons (faculty advisor)

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