The Ian Potter Southbank Centre (Melbourne Conservatorium Of Music)

Agency
Category
Client
  • University of Melbourne

Referencing the language of nightlife, exhibition and entertainment, neon embodies the student journey from practice to performance and a place of learning as well as center stage.

The Challenge

MCM required a wayfinding system that would allow visitors to both find its new home and then navigate through it effectively.

The solution and its messaging had to break down the barrier of MCM as a university building and ensure both its functions were well known to the public; that it is a performance space as well as a student learning space.

Photo Credit: Trevor Mein

MCM’s main public concert hall sits in the outstanding box-like structure right of screen. This was a key consideration in the design firm’s wayfinding strategy. Project Name: The Ian Potter Southbank Centre (Melbourne

Photo Credit: Trevor Mein

The Ian Potter Southbank Centre is MCM’s public moniker. The neon monospace typography sits on the underline structure just right of the main entrance.

Photo Credit: Trevor Mein

The Kenneth Myer Auditorium is the first performance space visible upon entry. Its sign adopts the same features as those at the building’s front entrance.

Photo Credit: Trevor Mein

A facilities identification sign reading ‘Door A’ seamlessly blends into the door’s material finish. The ‘A’ is enlarged to ensure visibility.

Design & Execution

Diadem’s design is a celebration of the arts and acknowledges the energy that music and performance brings to a space.

The signage suite’s neon focal points are inviting to the eye and encourage interaction and immersion with MCM. Neon works together with the suite’s other elements – typography and the ‘underline’ – to create a stylish reference to music that takes after the space’s vibrant atmosphere.

The typeface is monospace whereby each character has a set kerning and aligns with those above and below.

Each unit creates the impression of a musical bar and therefore a beat, creating the impression of a sequence and its rhythm. The characters sit atop the ‘underline’, which looks to recreate the lines of a printed musical sequence. The ‘underline’ also works in a practical sense. They required minimal drill holes to be installed and allowed power to flow to each letter of every sign.

Diadem considered the very layout of MCM and identified a problem upon foyer entry; the concert space on ground floor was the easiest one to locate, despite it not being the main hall. The principal and biggest public hall, the Hanson Dyer Hall, was located on the building’s third floor. The eye-catching signs were strategically placed within the Conservatorium to prompt the public through stairs and up lifts upon entry.

Photo Credit: Trevor Mein

A large ‘3’ sits on a wall by a staircase. This identifies MCM’s third level, which houses the centre’s main public concert hall.

Photo Credit: Trevor Mein

An amenities identification sign sits off a wall, directing patrons to male, female and accessible restrooms. It displays the outlines of classic human silhouettes.

Photo Credit: Trevor Mein

A facilities identification sign reading ‘Percussion Store’ is accompanied by a number, 807. Its white monospace typography sits on a black background.

Slideshow

The Ian Potter Southbank Centre (Melbourne Conservatorium Of Music)

MCM’s entrance, featuring its name and public identity, the Ian Potter Centre. Energetic neon, monospace typography and the smart ‘underline’ form the signs.

MCM’s main public concert hall sits in the outstanding box-like structure right of screen. This was a key consideration in the design firm’s wayfinding strategy.

The Ian Potter Southbank Centre is MCM’s public moniker. The neon monospace typography sits on the underline structure just right of the main entrance.

The Kenneth Myer Auditorium is the first performance space visible upon entry. Its sign adopts the same features as those at the building’s front entrance.

A facilities identification sign reading ‘Door A’ seamlessly blends into the door’s material finish. The ‘A’ is enlarged to ensure visibility.

A large ‘3’ sits on a wall by a staircase. This identifies MCM’s third level, which houses the centre’s main public concert hall.

An amenities identification sign sits off a wall, directing patrons to male, female and accessible restrooms. It displays the outlines of classic human silhouettes.

A facilities identification sign reading ‘Percussion Store’ is accompanied by a number, 807. Its white monospace typography sits on a black background.