Wayfinding system developed for the Les Olympiades district in the 13th arrondissement in Paris, France.
Les Olympiades, located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, is an above street level plaza that contains a mixture of residential buildings, commercial shopping centers and public facilities. The plaza consists of two levels (dalle basse and dalle haute) and is open to pedestrian traffic only. Vehicular traffic runs below the plaza as well as on the five streets that border the district. Entrances to the plaza can also be found on these five streets, giving residents and visitors six options for entry.
Unfortunately, these entrances are not well-marked or documented, making it very difficult for first time visitors and the general public to access the space. In addition, addresses to the buildings on the plaza use the names of the streets directly under the plaza, increasing difficulty to find anything. This problem only worsens on the actual plaza – there is no cohesive system for signs or maps, making in nearly impossible to find destinations and identify buildings.
When first built, Les Olympiades consisted of a strong Asian population and primarily older residents. Since then, the district has transformed to have a very diverse population of ethnic backgrounds and age groups. While a diverse population is still very present in the district, in recent years there has been a rise of the presence of younger families. My wayfinding and signage aims to make Les Olympiades “hip” aid in the rise of younger families and couples.
Type and locations:
Signage for Les Olympiades will consist of identification signs for each building, as well as three orientation signs with a “you are here” indication. The location for all of the signage is based on the pathway analysis. Additional directional information will be placed on the identification and orientation signs, however, will not be the main focus of the signs.
Design and color coding:
Pointed corner to modernize and differentiate sign with existing architecture of space.
Subheading of building name is color-coded in accordance to the map, and indicates the building type.
Subheading and white line wraps around the block to create a more dynamic space and draw the reader around to see the additional directional information.
Les Olympiades was completed in the mid-1970’s and emulates the architecture of the time – geometric, bulky and primarily concrete. Therefore, the signage is aimed to modernize the space while still complimenting the existing architecture. Les Olympiades is also unique in the way it’s architecture forms a community space for residents, visitors and students. The signage also aims to strengthen the community aspect of the district through implementing public seating areas.
Les Olympiades and the area surrounding is a popular place for street and graffiti art, and a large part of the culture for the youth living in the area. Rather than ignoring this fact, the signage will also used as a canvas for these young artists. The bottom, concrete block of the directional signs is reserved for commissioned artists that are chosen in the community, and can stay for however long the community decides upon before choosing another artist. The top block, which contains all the signage information, is metal and can be removed and re-placed when the artist is done. This, in turn, is also a way to strengthen the community aspect of the district that is mentioned in the above paragraph.