The environment in which this project was undertaken was a child care centre that had been renovated and changed a number times throughout a long period of time. The centre has a number of distinct areas of care, separated into sections for children based on age plus a number of staff rooms and administration offices. This method of expansion coupled with the need to direct people to distinct areas in a confined space configuration presented a special wayfinding challenge.
Working from plans and spending time on-site allowed us to develop a clear picture of the needs of the users and the location of key destinations. Parents accessing the centre need to be able to locate the section that is appropriate for their child, parents are often in rush and our sign response needed to present information clearly and simply and also reinforce the playful brand developed for the centres.
The signage response categorised the signs according to use which included centre identification signs, pedestrian directional signs, zone identification signs (for different zones of child care such as toddlers and kindy) and room identification signs for specific purpose rooms within those zones. Australian Standard compliant toilet signs were also required.
The signs designed catered to these specific purposes and where necessary, worked as a series to guide people to the different zones marking various rooms along the way.
The signs were fabricated out of a mix of materials depending on their location, ranging from adhesive vinyl for simple room identification signs through to folded powder coated aluminium signs for long-life outdoor use. Large aluminium composite panels were used to mark the location of the centres to visitors. Design, construction and installation was conducted by POMO to provide a seamless wayfinding response for the centres.
When we set out to design our studio we approached it like any design project, we began by identifying the priorities and creating a strategic framework to guide the decision making.
The initial priority was to create something simple to build, something sustainable, creatively inspiring and something that was cost effective. Through research it became clear that achieving these things was not necessarily difficult.
Working with the landscape design team POMO were able to create a number of key design initiatives that would contribute to the locally inspired placemaking program and deliver on practical community needs.
POMO was engaged to design and construct a number of landscape elements. Each element was custom designed and born from the uniqueness of Palmwoods, they reference local history, using locally sourced materials and were being made collaboratively with local craftspeople and artisans.
Underlying this was a larger design and management process run by POMO involving construction design, design reporting, engineering certification, construction and project management and installation on-site. A true multidisciplinary and multi-skilled program with a wide range of stakeholders and projects participants.
The project won the Excellence Award at the 2018 Queensland AILA awards for Civic Design. It also won gold in the same category at the national awards.