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The Bruce Building — Student Living

External sign at Brewery Lane Entrance

We return to The Bruce Building (first featured in sarahsnotebook November 2015) to report on the package of wayfinding and display signage we have developed for high end accommodation located next to Newcastle University’s City Centre Campus.

Picto were initially approached by _space architects to develop a ‘hotel style’ wayfinding scheme for The Bruce Building, the former offices of Newcastle Breweries.  The building dates back to 1900 and has just undergone a £5m refurbishment to re-work the Grade II listed building into 57 studio and one bed apartments, alongside offices and retail space.

The accommodation is spread across three sections of the original building and over four storeys.  There are entrances at each end, one located next to the University campus (Brewery Lane), the other leading to Newcastle City Centre (St Thomas’ Street). The internal spaces are complicated and by applying tried and tested techniques we have made sure that users are able to effortlessly navigate their way around.

Floor directory, incorporating 3D map, colour coding and clear directions to apartments

Scope of Work

Core wayfinding comprises clear entrance identification, which is then carried through to the internal directional signs.

3D maps of each floor were developed, displaying the location of each apartment, with a palette of four colours carried through the signs on each floor.  Directional signs are appropriately scaled and positioned at key decision making points. Graphics, the use of clear language and pictograms, colour contrast and fixing locations meet with DDA guidelines for signs.

The client wanted the signs to be of a high quality, robust and easy to maintain.  Glass and aluminium were specified to meet with these requirements. All the graphics are encapsulated to prevent them being picked off.

Left to right : Entrance at St Thomas’ Street; directional sign; apartment number; lift identification

Additional Details

Once the wayfinding was in place we were asked to develop solutions for various requirements to enhance the development. This included magnetic display boards for each apartment, using materials which met with fire regulations, and lockable notice boards sited at each entrance.

During the refurbishment work a photographer was commissioned to record the projects’ development, the result of which is a fascinating set of images revealing the scope of the construction work and many of the original building details.  A selection of eighteen of these were used as large format artwork, positioned along the corridors on each floor.

Left: large format corridor artwork featuring images taking during construction; right: magnetic display board featuring map of the world, located within each apartment

Picto’s confident approach combined with their willingness to listen to our concerns and preferences has resulted in a very successful project that we are extremely proud of.

Richard Ponton | Client

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