WNYC New York Public Radio is America’s most listened-to public radio station, reaching more than a million listeners each week. WNYC FM and AM are New York’s premier public radio stations, broadcasting programs ranging from National Public Radio and Public Radio International to award-winning local programming.
In 2006, construction started on WNYC's new broadcast studios located in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. WNYC's new home divides 72,000 sq. ft. between two-and-a-half floors of a 12-story building in the former hub of the city’s printing industry. The number of recording studios has been doubled, and a 2,300-sq.-ft. ground-floor, glass-enclosed auditorium, named the Jerome L. Green Performance Center, allows New Yorkers to observe live radio broadcasts, hear great musicians, engage in civic conversations and political debates, attend author and artists talks, and meet the faces behind the microphones of this popular public radio station.
Poulin + Morris was asked to develop a comprehensive environmental graphics, wayfinding, and donor recognition program. The visual elements used for all project components are derived from words and visual metaphors of sound. Sound waves, graphic equalizers, voice patterns, and related visual technology all play a major role in this program's realization.
The ground-floor performance space is identified with immense, bright-red letters spelling “WNYC" (in painted-aluminum square bar stock). A 100-ft.-long, undulating LED news ticker display moves through the windows on Varick Street, making news available to passersby. A 6-ft.-high by 10-ft.-long donor recognition element, comprised of individual colored lightblock panels with applied, white goldleaf, die-cut letters, recalls a graphic equalizer. Stainless steel tenant information signage and an entrance canopy feature cut-out versions of the WNYC logotype.
“The cut-out logo and its quiet nod to radio/sound technology are both humorous and slick.”
“I love the donor wall that emulates a graphic sound equalizer, as well as the logo.”
Douglas Morris (design director), Erik Herter (designer)
Mark IV (LED elements), Graphika (window graphics, canopy)