Pathways to Precinct

melbourne quarter

 Pathways to Precinct
This Lendlease development consists of a number of commercial, residential and retail buildings as well as a public precinct space, located adjacent to Southern Cross Station in the heart of Melbourne. The signage and wayfinding are being undertaken in stages, with One Melbourne Quarter being the first building to be constructed in the precinct. Urbanite has completed the One Melbourne Quarter and precinct stage of work and is currently working on Two Melbourne Quarter. The scope of our contribution consists of full signage, wayfinding and statutory design and documentation for interior and exterior areas.

The objective of the wayfinding design was to firstly provide adequate directional information to the large set of diverse users moving through the site each day. There are a great number of buildings on site, but the area is also a heavy thoroughfare, being in such close proximity to the station.

Each building is designed by a different architect and the signage objective was to create a unified form that would connect the differing types of architecture and urban site, act as the branding for the precinct and speak a graphic language that would set a new benchmark for commercial wayfinding design. Above all, the wayfinding experience needed to be intuitive, simple and agile.
 Pathways to Precinct
 Pathways to Precinct
 Pathways to Precinct

CREATING FAMILIARITY 

This is a large site with a heavy pedestrian thoroughfare and multitude of users from surrounding tourists, to professionals and so on. This provided a challenge in developing a wayfinding strategy that would speak to very different sets of users simultaneously. The fluid architectural styles also presented a challenge, where Urbanite was charged with creating a single voice for many different designs. 

The design of the precinct meant we had to address various complex navigational functions of the precinct experience, such as the level changes between Aurora Lane and Collins Street and getting the mix of private and public spaces right. Finally, as a staged-development, the precinct would progress at different times resulting in connectivity issues between the buildings and the surrounding urban landscape.  
 Pathways to Precinct
Urbanite designed a very refined sign-form that used a black base colour with a key chamfer feature which, upon investigation of the multiple building designs on site, was a consistent architectural detail. This chamfer detail then combined with the use of a common brass material to form the brand mark on the sign. The refined and minimal palette allowed the signage scheme to be applied in any instance across the site or within the building and not feel out of place and still respectful of the architectural design.

Urbanite also ensured the signage scheme was organised into carefully segmented panel systems so that as the site develops and different signage messaging is required, only small areas of signs are required to be replaced. Key precinct ID signs for example, break the typical black and become integrated freestanding. Additionally, Urbanite specified illuminated lettering which is placed directly into the landscape and integrated with critical features such as steps and seating. 
 Pathways to Precinct
 Pathways to Precinct
 Pathways to Precinct
 Pathways to Precinct
 Pathways to Precinct
 Pathways to Precinct

The client provided the logo based on a larger branding guidelines strategy for urbanite to work within. The logo informed some of the creative used in the end of trip facilitiy, where the graphics used dual key lines not unlike the MQ logo.

 Pathways to Precinct
 Pathways to Precinct

Precinct Personality

With the first stage of the project installed throughout One Melbourne Quarter and the surrounding precinct, there has already been positive comment on the elegant sign-forms and the reflection of their chamfered forms against the backdrop of the architecture. Already, messaging has needed to be updated as the development progresses, and the simple panelling system implemented has resulted in this being a quick and easy change with no need to dismantle or remove any sign-form. The refined nature of the signs with the chamfer detail and brass material acting as the graphic character, resonates with its quirky-meets-sophisticated Melbourne location and has helped form a unique identity for the precinct which ties every area together into one holistic Melbourne Quarter experience.
 Pathways to Precinct