UTS Central Now Open, Wayfinding by BrandCulture

UTS Central Now Open, Wayfinding by BrandCulture

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Since 2014, BrandCulture (Sydney) has played a role in the incredible transformation of the UTS campus as wayfinding consultants. This year, we’ve been busy extending the university’s wayfinding system to UTS Central, a spectacular 17-story building designed by FJMT with original podium design by Lacoste+Stevenson with DJRD.

The building’s lower levels create a dramatic podium, home to collaborative learning spaces and the new UTS library. With its porous, light-filled structure, we needed to say a lot with a limited number of signs, while making the system flexible enough to allow frequent updates over time. BrandCulture worked closely with FJMT to customize floor-to-ceiling signs that honor the integrity of architectural features and sit flush with the sleek wooden wall panels. Parts of each sign are replaceable, making them easy to update.

To reduce pressure on the building’s lifts, BrandCulture devised a strategy to guide people towards UTS Central’s distinctive double-helix staircase and escalators. Not only does UTS Central provide one of the main entrances into UTS via Broadway and Alumni Green, but four of its floors interconnect with Building 1—the university’s polarizing brutalist tower. This interconnectivity creates a series of layered, cascading spaces.

“UTS Central is going to be a key part of the university’s public identity. The sheer volume of traffic it will welcome means that from a user perspective, people need to have a good understanding of what their options are. The stairs and escalators have to be well utilised, and a coherent navigation system was needed to help people find their way to the cascading spaces connecting the buildings,” explains Nick Bannikoff, BrandCulture’s Design Director.

Extending the wayfinding system to the new UTS Library and Reading Room on Levels 5 to 9 was an exercise in information design. The library’s three-story Reading Room is a modern-day translation of traditional reading rooms—vast, cavernous, tranquil and bathed in light.

UTS Central will continue to be unveiled in stages into 2020, with construction delivered by Richard Crookes Constructions. The Student Learning Hub, food court and Jones St lobby and exhibition space are already open, along with spaces for the Faculty of Engineering and IT. The UTS Library and Reading Room are on track to open in November, with more spaces to come in 2020.

UTS Central is the final significant project to be delivered as part of the billion-dollar-plus UTS City Campus Master Plan.

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