London is a city of complex structures, partly dating back to medieval times, with few long vistas but a multitude of destinations and attractive areas. With more than 27 million visitors a year, walkability is important. It’s well known that London’s “tube map” is one of the best wayfinding diagrams in the world. But the above-ground terrain has been less well served. Surveys conducted in conjunction with the Legible London program showed that more than 40% of people have been using the tube map for walking, too.
Where am I? What can I do here? Where can I go from here? Consciously or not, we ask such questions every day as we navigate the places and spaces of our lives. Whether we find ourselves in a museum, hospital, train station, park, or street in an unfamiliar city, we depend on systems of visual, audible, and tactile cues not only to lead the way, but also to keep us safe. They are the fundamental questions of wayfinding—a process that encompasses both the experience of choosing a path within a built environment and the set of design elements that aid in such a decision.
The goal of the Bikeway Belém project was not only to define and provide wayfinding guidance for the new 7,362-meter bike route along the river Tagus in the center of Lisbon, but to energize the diverse urban spaces that it traverses.
Docks en Seine is a new fashion and design-focused development on the Left Bank, part of ongoing urban renewal efforts in Paris’ 13th arrondissement. Architects Jakob + MacFarlane (Paris) designed an arresting green metal pipe structure that envelops an existing 1907 concrete warehouse. The warehouse serves as the project’s circulation, linking various spaces such as a fashion school, cafes, restaurants, and a bookstore.
What could be more universal than the language of pointing hands? That was the premise of two separate “Hand to Hand” wayfinding/art installations, one staged in an old building in Madrid’s city center and the other held as part of Barcelona’s ExpoHogar, a biannual fair of interior design and decoration.
Lisbon’s new Orient Museum opened in 2008 in a former warehouse. P-06 Atelier developed the museum’s corporate identity, communication display system, and wayfinding system and supports, in addition to a chromatic study of the building, the opening campaign (press, TV, and outdoors), and all communication products including books, tickets, and merchandising.
RTKL Associates’ new 60,000-sq.-ft. Washington, D.C., office—seeking LEED-Platinum certification—is an example of next-generation sustainable corporate interiors. RTKL’s goal was to create a workplace that reflects its collaborative culture and commitment to environmental stewardship.
Business software company SAP America’s new U.S. headquarters in Newtown Square, Pa., is also its first “green” building. ex;it was commissioned to create an “understated” wayfinding system for visitors and employees, including those who work on the campus and those visiting from other locations worldwide.
Soho China, a developer of high-profile branded commercial properties in central Beijing and Shanghai, collaborates with internationally-recognized architects to create iconic real estate. Several of Soho China’s developments have become landmark structures in Beijing’s emerging skyline.