Domino Park

Merit Award 2019

Domino Park is a new five-acre park in Brooklyn, on the site of the former Domino Sugar refinery. The park, developed by Two Trees and designed by James Corner Field Operations, restores access to the waterfront, and features a new Danny Meyer taco stand, a volleyball court, dog run and playground.

The backdrop of the park nods to the history of the refinery by incorporating its industrial remnants, including a syrup collection tank and 80-foot high gantry cranes. The Domino name, retained from the site’s heritage, was used as inspiration for the park’s symbol and visual language. A tree icon, often used in municipal park branding, was made from the dot grid seen in domino tiles. A supporting typographic palette and wordmark were informed by stencil lettered signage found in the factory. The typeface, Ano Stencil, is a contemporary take on of this style of utilitarian typography and was chosen to have synergy and balance with the Domino tree symbol as well as reinforce the symbol’s industrial quality. Both symbol and typography can be hand stenciled or punched out of materials. A bespoke set of stencil pictograms was also created to compliment the icon and wordmark.

The signage for a park like Domino is unique. It was important that the signage scheme had a synergy with the park’s design, material palette and unique setting. As part of the design strategy, the agency created an industrial language of H-beams used at varying sizes to unify the many sign types including large directory monoliths and smaller rule signs for recreation areas. Threshold signs were precast and inset into the ground to signal the official entries into the park, repeating throughout the length of the 5-acre site, referencing the repeat of a domino tile.

The opportunity to create a brand in parallel with the signage design enabled a very tailored approach, resulting in a dynamic, engaging signage scheme which takes advantage of every element of the identity to continue Domino Park’s unique story.

Jury Comments: 

"If there is a place for highly appropriate, background wayfinding systems (and there is), this is a great example. The re-interpretation of industrial iconography, materials and even typography makes for a highly integrated system which strikes just the right balance between presenting its own skillful design aesthetic and performing its primary function of helping visitors navigate an active civic space. It lets the park be the star."

"The designers took care to connect the materiality of the identification and directional signage, black wide flange steel beam pylons with additional signage and messaging is inlaid into the ground plane, on manhole covers, stamped into concrete."

Design Firms: 

Noë & Associates

Client: 

Two Trees

Project Area: 

217,800 sq ft

Open Date: 

June 2018

Photo Credits: 

Eric Petschek, Ben Salesse (photography); Noe & Associates (videography)

Design Team: 

Barry Smith (design director); Scott Langer, Nick Tweedie, Seth Hoekstra (designer); Chris Lopez-Thomas (senior producer)

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