Oxford Street Parking Facility

Merit Award

Environmental graphic designers worked closely with Harvard University to develop a wayfinding program for a new four-level underground parking garage intended for weekday staff parking and evening/weekend event parking.

The opportunity to showcase Harvard's various museum collections surfaced early on as a way to complement a more standard color-coding approach for wayfinding throughout the garage. The designers and Harvard pored through museum art that includes offerings in archeology, science and technology, fine art, and natural history. Once representative artwork was selected, graphic interpretations with vibrant color were created for wrapping structural columns, elevator lobbies, and accent walls.

The solution provides wayfinding in several ways, using parking level designation, color, and art to help users navigate the facility and – more importantly – remember where they parked.

Jury Comments: 

"A surprising clean, engaging solution for a parking garage. While the budget was substantial so too was the solution – architecturally and graphically. Using imagery from Harvard's museum collections, the parking levels are delineated by color and content with light, airy, glass, mullioned walls that (at least at the opening of the garage) are clean and inviting. This may not be the case a year from now, but there is nothing to indicate that while delicate, it will not be able to withstand the challenges of a garage."

Design Firm: 

Arrowstreet Graphic Design


Harvard Planning and Real Estate

Location City: 

Cambridge, Mass.

Project Area: 


Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Richard Mandelkorn

Design Team: 

Bob Lowe (Principal in Charge), David Cajolet




Back Bay Sign

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