Melbourne Quarter

Unifying a complex
precinct with a
common design
language

The challenge

01

Melbourne Quarter consists of a number of commercial, residential and retail buildings as well as a public precinct, located next to Southern Cross Station in the heart of Melbourne. With the signage and wayfinding happening in stages, One Melbourne Quarter is the first completed building in the precinct and Urbanite has completed the signage, wayfinding and statutory design and documentation for interior and exterior areas for One Melbourne Quarter and the precinct areas. Applying the developed signage design system to the remainder of buildings within the precinct is currently underway.

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

Our thinking

02

As well as being close to the station, there are several buildings on site, which means the area is a heavy thoroughfare. First and foremost, the wayfinding design needed to provide adequate directional information to the large number of diverse users moving through the site each day.

We also 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.

To develop a wayfinding strategy that would speak to very different sets of users simultaneously, while accommodating for the fluid architectural styles, we needed to create a single voice for many different designs and experiences.

Creative

03

Urbanite designed a refined sign-form that used a black base colour with a key chamfer feature which 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 need to be replaced. Key feature signs, such as precinct identification, become illuminated lettering and are placed directly into the landscape and integrated with critical features such as steps and seating.

Results

04

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.

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