Have you ever been in an office building looking for the right suite number and the whole time it feels like you’re in a dark maze? Or you’re at the mall looking for a store, but give up because you can’t find it? And we all know what kinds of accidents can happen when there’s no clear path to a restroom.
Ineffective wayfinding is frustrating at best and costly at worst.
In healthcare facilities, difficulties in wayfinding have been shown to increase patient and visitor anxiety (Devlin, 2014) and reduce operational efficiency (Peponis et al., 1990). Hospital staff getting stopped for directions ate up an astounding 4,500 staff hours per year (Zimring, 1990)!
A building’s reputation (and leasabilty) can be impacted by how easy it is for users to navigate.
ADA-compliant wayfinding signage is a requirement to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. Bathroom signs, room ID signs, and wayfinding signs must all be compliant. Exterior signage is exempt. Working within the ADA requirements there is still ample opportunity to create distinctive signage that can be incorporated into a branded wayfinding scheme.
The Hub in the Galleria Financial Center (GFC) East is an excellent example of cohesive and effective wayfinding. AMB Architects used traditional signage and mixed in interesting finishes and colors to create a visual user journey clearly aligned with The Hub branding.
Developer Unilev and broker Cushman & Wakefield wanted to renovate the entire 12th floor of GFC East and convert it into a hybrid co-working space. The result is The Hub –seven move-in ready suites that share first-class amenities and common areas. Unlike a co-working space, each tenant has their own private suite; the seven suites range in size from 1,919 RSF to 3,413 RSF. Each suite has its own reception area with a lockable entrance. High-end modern finishes, bright corridors flooded with natural light, and Houston-centric wall graphics distinguish The Hub from other floors in the aging building.
The Galleria Financial Center has a sky bridge connecting the east and west wings, with an elevator bank in the middle. Ordinarily, visitors exit the elevator and then have to look at small lettering on glass doors to figure out where to go. For The Hub, AMB Architects designed custom wayfinding in keeping with The Hub branding. A large “12E” in The Hub’s signature lettering is featured immediately out of the elevator at the twelfth floor. AMB also extended the wood ceiling from The Hub lounge, plus other interior finishes, out to the edge of the elevator lobby so visitors would immediately know where to go and have a truly welcoming experience.