Studio Ongarato developed a comprehensive signage and environmental graphics system based on the concept “Testing Grounds” for the Melbourne headquarters of globally respected engineering firm Arup. Designed to complement the organization’s corporate values of honesty, integrity and ingenuity, the final outcome reflects notions of investigation, discovery, innovation and the aspiration to put “Arup on Display.”
Elements of testing and measurement are subtly expressed as grid overlays in the environmental design of timber screens and glazing graphics. While a distinctive suite of wayfinding signage features a bespoke assemblage of LED modules housed in structural components suspended on tensile cables to display dynamic, programmable content. A humble palate of raw materials and exposed wiring is elevated by considered design details. By developing wifi enabled signage controlled by custom software, the system offers uniquely future-proofed flexibility for Arup to create responsive messaging as required.
This novel light-based approach serves to reinforce the technical, modern and open-source tone to the workspace. Environmental graphics feature a metric grid overlay that can be manifest in two and three dimensions. A unique 2-D graphic pattern is applied to glass wall partitions and can be used to produce scaled sketches on the glazing while inside the meeting rooms. Three dimensionally the grid is installed as a feature timber screen and moulded panels around freestanding lab spaces. This bold approach to materiality, form and scale serves to distinguish the labs within the open-planned workplace, as well as to connect these spaces across all levels when viewed from large voids and suspended mezzanines.
Fabio Ongarato (creative direction), Ben Kluger (lead designer), Jordan Rowe (concept designer), Eva Lee (detailed design and project management)
54,896 sq ft