The former industrial and defence site of the former HMAS Platypus at Neutral Bay on Sydney Harbour was opened to the community for the first time in over 150 years as a new cultural, recreational and commercial hub in May 2018.
Now known as Sub Base Platypus and managed by the Harbour Trust, the site was the home to Australia’s six Oberon Class submarines between 1967—1999, the RAN’s torpedo maintenance facility 1942—1997 and the the North Shore Gas Works 1876—1932. After a period of extensive site remediation and completion of Stage 1 capital works the site is now open for public use. New works include a new park, wharf, playground, barbecues, submariners memorial and a new harbourside walkway that links the Submarine Wharf to Kesterton Park and the North Sydney Ferry Wharf to the south.
A stair at the northern entry establishes a new point of access for local residents, allowing access to the foreshore and public transport. Stage 2 will see refurbishment and redevelopment of the industrial architecture and allow for new activities on the site.
Urban&Public developed the branding, signage and wayfinding in an integrated approach that respects the site history, harbour location and the industrial remnants and structures on the site. The wayfinding signage has been designed to complement the industrial harbourside architecture, gas works and submarine related activities on the wharfs, using galvanised steel and suitably appropriate simplified details, form and typographic approach. The signs use a peg board system that will easily allow for future changes and new tenancies on the site as the site is reworked and opened up in different stages over the next few years.
Client // Harbour Trust
Landscape // ASPECT Studios (Sydney)
Architects // Lahznimmo Architects
Prototypes // Iguana Creative
Year // 2018
Urban&Public refined and implemented a wayfinding strategy for Parramatta Park. A significant landmark within Western Sydney, the Park encompasses 100 hectares of public open space, playgrounds and historic items on the banks of the Parramatta River, adjacent to the Parramatta CBD. The park is an important place in the Darug lands and a UNESCO World Heritage listed and includes 11 historic Australian Convict sites, and receives over 1.7 million visitors yearly.
Key objectives were to create identifiable elements and information to direct and orientate people to heritage locations, playgrounds, picnic areas, river crossing and other community facilities and the surrounding transport hubs in Parramatta and Westmead.
A hierarchy of signage elements for both pedestrians and vehicles were developed to create a clear legible system of wayfinding signs across the park, including new entrance signage elements. New pictograms and a park map were also developed as part of the project. Initial concept design was developed for the Trust by Mark Tatarinoff.
Client // Parramatta Park Trust
Team // Urban&Public
Years // 2016—2018
SMARTER, LIGHTER, HIGHER
Urban&Public in collaboration with Studio Binocular developed a kit of parts approach for the signage family providing Council with an adaptive and flexible system suitable for both parks, open spaces and urban conditions. A key design driver was the capacity to collocate panels on existing street furniture and infrastructure reducing visual clutter and minimising implementation costs.
The visual language and look and feel of the signage including mapping, underwent rigorous consultation and real world testing with multiple stakeholders culminating in a final design that embodies world best practice in wayfinding. Ultimately delivering an information system that is long lived and resilient to the recent and future changes as the city grows and evolves.
Client // City of Adelaide
Team // Urban&Public, Studio Binocular
Years // 2011—2015
Frome Street Bikeway
INNOVATIVE CYCLING WAYFINDING
U&P were engaged to carry out a wayfinding strategy for a new bikeway in Frome Street, in Adelaide’s CBD.
The bikeway is an opportunity to promote cycling as a viable mode of transport to the city and therefore required a legible and engaging visual language to promote the route. Building on the city wide Wayfinding Strategy, the cycle signage included branding elements, mid block and intersection directional information on island separators and sign panels collocated to existing light poles.
Consistent placement of information for cyclists meant delivering the right information at the right time whilst providing a safe and comfortable experience for bikeway users.
A cost effective approach to wayfinding was implemented using affordable materials and production methods including poles wrapped in stickers and surface decals.
Client // City of Adelaide
Year // 2014
URBAN, COASTAL AND PARK
Urban&Public were engaged by the Mosman Council to complete a municipal signage review and analysis to determine the best approach in updating council’s signage assets and to assist in the systematic placement for new signage, along with visual, architectural and typographic influences for the development of a contemporary suite of wayfinding signage. Existing signage was generally lacking in relevant information, had poor application of council brand and suffered from heavy handed over–regulation and inappropriate location placements.
Signage in these outdoor locations must withstand both exposed coastal conditions and wear and tear in public parks and urban centres. A tough material palette of timber, juxtaposed with anodised aluminium framing and aluminium filigree is used in the new signage. A system of patterning was developed for each sign location typology: urban, park and coastal. These patterns were either routed into the timber framing, printed onto sign fronts, or perforated on the large aluminium panels that references some of the older architectural styles and forms in the area — and a method to reduce the visual weight of the signage.
When Council implement new smart parking technology and parking counters it was incorporated into the new suite of signs to keep a consistent visual language across the public domain. Sensors located in car parks and on streets gives visitors an indication of the best places to park, and where the probability of finding a car park is highest — all supported by a free smart phone app.
Year // 2015—2017
Client // Mosman Council
NEW VISITOR EXPERIENCE
As part of a new over–water pavillion by architects FJMT for the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, ‘Action Stations’ was established to provide new narratives and access to the three warships based at the museum including the destroyer ship HMAS Vampire, Oberon class submarine HMAS Onslow and patrol boat HMAS Advance. Urban&Public were involved fr museum’s brief was to provide visitors with a unique and new and contemporary museum experience. The wayfinding, signage, exhibition and interpretation strategy used an identifiable vernacular of graphics, shapes, colours and construction methods.
Inspired by shipbuilding techniques and the hand made signs created by the crew, the signage family sought to add to the visitor experience by adding a layer of detail and nautical character.
Urban&Public were responsible for the Action Stations brand, guidelines and overall look and feel of the wayfinding, website, environmental graphics, safety and visitor information.
Client // Australian National Maritime Museum
With // Christie Hunt & Andrew Ashton
Year // 2015
WINNER —2016 Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Award (MAPDA) Action Stations website
WINNER SILVER — 2016 International Design and Communications Awards (IDCA) Best Scenography for a Permanent Exhibition
Highly Commended — 2016 Museums and Galleries National Award (MAGNA) Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fit Out
Related submarine project:
Submariners' Memorial at Sub Base Platypus
700 SIGNS ACROSS 10 PRECINCTS
Urban&Public were engaged by the City of Sydney to develop and implement the new city-wide ‘Legible Sydney’ wayfinding system for the 10 city villages across an area of 25km². A framework was established to ensure the 700 signs including 100 map pylons were optimally located as part of a city wide pedestrian network. The final documentation packages totalled over 1500 pages of schedules, plans, visualisations, messaging and finished artwork. Thorough documentation and a process driven approach was key to each village package for preparation of tendering documents for manufacture, which has been awarded and will commenced roll out in 2017. The project was completed in late 2018, and will be added to as new precincts are opened in the future.
Best practice detailed mapping included the illustration of 3D landmarks to assist in user journey–planning and new mapping for the southern part of the LGA. Meticulously designed sign templates were used for accurate, repeated artwork preparation, allowing for standardisation of large volumes of messaging, pictograms, transport information, destination times, mapping data and text–based information. Systems were essential to creating a seamless and coherent approach to implementation, ensuring information was accurate and responsive to current and future changes to transport and the public domain occurring across the rapidly changing urban landscape.
Client // City of Sydney
Years // 2014—2016
ARTS AND CULTURAL PRECINCT
As part of the State Significant Development Application (SSDA) Urban & Public worked with Infrastructure NSW and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects to establish a framework for branding, identity, access, wayfinding and precinct identification for Pier 2/3 and Wharf 4/5 at Walsh Bay. The precinct is already strongly established as an arts precinct with Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance and ATYP already present on Wharf 4/5 and the Roslyn Packer Theatre opposite on Hickson Road. The project developed a framework for signage locations and emerging digital applications for improved visitor experience.
Client // Infrastructure NSW
Year // 2016—2018
BETTER MANAGEMENT OF SIGNAGE
The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources identified a need to consolidate and simplify the process of signage management and implementation across their organisation. Urban&Public in collaboration with Studio Binocular were engaged to create a legible and user friendly document to assist employees in this task.
The Signage Manual provides direction for the planning, design, manufacture and installation and maintenance of all signs at all National Parks sites.
A key objective of the project was to create a user friendly and interactive manual to streamline the proces of signage production and ensure the consistent use of signs in all parks. It also ensures that visitor’s experiences are enhanced and risk to their safety is minimised.
The document was created as an interactive pdf, that allows users to be guided by a ‘steps’ process linked to relevant information at key decision points. This is enabled by having the pdf operate like a website allowing navigation backwards and forwards through the document.
Client // Department of Energy and Natural Resources, South Australia
Year // 2016
The M80 Trail is a significant connective path network proposed to complement the $2.25 billion Ring Road Upgrade.
U&P and Studio Binocular delivered an identity and wayfinding strategy to be rolled–out across the entire network. Covering 38km, the trail traverses major roads, rail and waterways. The necessity for a clear and legible system of navigation was paramount to meet the challenges of an, at times, disjointed and circuitous route.
The identity laid the foundation for the creation of a signage family, furniture and shelters that are iconically ‘branded’. At the heart of the system is the use of a common colour and characteristic form to clearly sign and signify the route for users.
Our services covered:
— Route and connectivity analysis
— Identity development
— Signage family design
— Design and documentation of furniture and shelters
— Implementation of strategy
Client // VicRoads
Year // 2012
The Victorian Desalination Plant is a state significant, large scale infrastructure project delivering 150 billion litres of water to Melbourne. ASPECT Studios, working with architects (ARM and PeckvonHartel), PB/Beca and ecologists, delivered the urban design and landscape architectural services for the project.
The Desalination Plant is encircled by the largest ecological park in the state of Victoria. As part of the suite of supporting structures and systems for the ecological park, toilets, shelters and signage were designed as a family of elements with similar design aesthetics.
The design prompts came from the green roof, a staggering structure that rises out of the dunes to cover the main facility of the plant.
This ascending, folding and wrapping geometry of the green roof was mimicked in the shelters and smaller ancillary buildings and also in the interpretive signage that appears at key points around the park.
Client // AquaSure Consortium
Year // 2012
The City of Monash piloted new wayfinding for the Oakleigh Activity Area with the aim to roll it out to other Activity Areas across the municipality.
Key objectives were to create identifiable landmark elements and heads up information to direct and orientate people to the retail, community facilities and Oakleigh station transport hub.
A strong visible colour palette was adopted to brand precincts and create a legible system of wayfinding elements in the public realm.
Client // City of Monash
Year // 2011
THE NEW HEART OF PERTH
Urban&Public together with Lyons and Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects designed Yagan Square, Perth’s newest major public space. Th square reconnects the CBD with Northbridge and it aims to be a place to have fun, meet, play, eat and shop.
The design responded to the vision of the Square to be an inclusive, welcoming and an active cultural and civic destination representative of a diversity of communities. It is the convergence of geologies, tracks, narratives, indigenous and non-indigenous people and culture within the Square itself.
A wayfinding strategy was developed as part of the project taking as inspiration the proposed architecture. This allowed a seamless conversation between the two having as a result a system that is perfectly integrated into the landscape.
Client // MRA Perth, Western Australia
Landscape // ASPECT Studios
Architects // Lyons
Year // 2018
A GROUP EFFORT
The Goulburn Valley Wayfinding Strategy was initiated to assist activity centres and townships to promote walking and cycling in a coordinated program across three municipalities.
The Shires of Moira and Starthbogie, and the City of Greater Shepparton had identified a number of issues facing local communities that would benefit from integrated active transport infrastructure.
During extensive consultation with over 12 communities across the three municipalities it became clear that a signage family could help promote local tourism by encouraging extended stays for the region. It was identified that each town had some level of historical or cultural walk that could be promoted through the signage family. The walks became an attractive way to explore these towns and in doing so create more foot traffic and increase retail spending.
Client / City of Greater Shepparton, Shire of Strathbogie, Shire of Moira
Year // 2013
IDENTITY AND WAYFINDING
The City of Casey identified the need to create a unique identity for the Casey Complex precinct and associated wayfinding, gateway and facility signage.
With Studio Binocular we developed a clear brand voice to rationalise the signage and project a clearer identity to the community about the precinct and its facilities.
The Casey Complex brandmark is based on the idea of a complete community precinct. It references the traditional concept of city walls enveloping the heart of a community.
The negative space within the C creates an arrow which communicates the concept of direction and movement. This sense of movement is also supported through the use of a brightly coloured gradient — helping to suggest a sporting context.
Development of the visual identity system for the complex established a framework for the wayfinding family of signage. Aimed at both vehicles and pedestrians the signage family negotiated a balance of scale to create a legible visual language.
Client // City of Casey
Year // 2012
ASPECT Studios and Studio Binocular undertook a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of two key Activity Centres in Moonee Valley, Melbourne with the aim of developing a family of wayfinding signage that could function in very different urban typologies.
The two areas, Moonee Ponds and Airport West, required a signage family of flexible elements that could provide the necessary wayfinding components to link pedestrians with transport networks and services, aid in access to community facilities and promote walking and cycling around the municipality.
The developed signage family was also rolled out for Keilor Road and North Essendon Activity Centres.
Key components of this project included:
— Signage messaging and placement
— Area and Heads Up Mapping
— Cost effective alternatives to standard signs
— Durable and long lasting signage elements
— Access and legibility design outcomes for a Linguistically and Culturally Diverse audience.
Client // City of Moonee Valley
Years // 2011—2013
WAYFINDING INNER MELBOURNE
ASPECT Studios and Studio Binocular, in collaboration with the City of Greater Dandenong, piloted a wayfinding strategy for Springvale Activity Centre with the aim to roll it out to other Activity Centre’s in the municipality.
Key objectives were to create identifiable elements and heads up information to direct and orientate people to the retail, community facilities and Springvale Station transport hub.
A hierarchy of signage elements and custom graphics were developed to brand the precinct and create a clear legible system of identifiable signs.
Client // City of Greater Dandenong
Year // 2013
Awards // 2014 Melbourne Design Awards — Wayfinding Silver Winner
WAYFINDING AND INTERPRETIVE SIGNAGE STRATEGY
Coburg Lake has been central to the lives of the Moreland community for over a hundred years. It has witnessed many changes of use and contains many cherished landmarks.
With recent refurbishment of its facilities, ASPECT Studios were engaged to develop a family of wayfinding, gateway and interpretive signage that would celebrate the lake’s rich history.
Inspired by the Art Deco elements still present in the reserve, signage was subtly themed to evoke that period. The more striking evocation of this is the main entrance sign situated along Murray Road, large Art Deco letters are incorporated into the palisade fence spelling out Coburg Lake Reserve.
Client // City of Moreland
Year // 2011—2013
A NEW WAYFINDING FAMILY
ASPECT Studios in alliance with Studio Binocular recently completed a comprehensive signage strategy for all Council branded signage assets.
The project demanded an extensive audit and consultation process with a variety of stakeholders within Council and the broader community. The summary outcomes and recommendations of this phase of the project informed the redesign of all Council branded signage. This covered and included:
—Parks and open spaces
—Gateways into the municipality
The signage information included wayfinding, directional, location, time and distance, maps and icons. Extensive research was initiated to develop a suite of materials that could be used for both the natural and urban environments across the municipality. The construction methodology mitigated maintenance requirements and negotiated the fine balance between sustainable and environmental aspirations and the pragmatic need for a durable and graffiti resistant suite of signage.
Client // City of Whitehorse
Year // 2010