Fresh From The Field — Sir Howard Morrison Centre – By Maynard

1 year ago by

Fresh from the Field is a weekly article series sharing the fresh and inspiring work of our Aotearoa Design Assembly community.

Our DA friends Maynard take us behind their wayfinding response for Sir Howard Morrison Centre. The resulting kaupapa emphasised a sense of being present in the space: kei kōnei koe.

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The Brief

Rotorua’s Sir Howard Morrison Centre is destined to reclaim its place among Aotearoa’s most beloved performing arts venues. In exceptional new facilities built where the performing arts greats of our past once held forth, a new generation of performers will find their feet on the stage.

As the revitalised centre approached construction completion, Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) identified the need for a wayfinding strategy to ensure the facility was spatially legible and intuitive for those that would move through it.

Women walking past toilet signage at Sir Howard Morrison Centre designed by Maynard
Icons and signage for Sir Howard Morrison Centre designed by Maynard
Looking down on a Marynard team member designing signage for Sir Howard Morrison Centre
The Design Response

Maynard worked with Pūkenga Matauranga Māori Kingi Biddle, artist Henriata Nicholas and RLC stakeholders to develop a wayfinding response which would connect with and strengthen the kōrero underpinning the architecture, artwork and naming of the revitalised SHMC. The resulting kaupapa emphasised a sense of being present in the space: kei kōnei koe.

Manaakitanga is expressed in the second foundation element of the response. This established the principle that the wayfinding be ‘there, but not there’ – coming forward to welcome and assist, but receding when help is not required.

‘There, but not there’ was realised simply in the design system by drawing a neutral material palette directly from the interiors of the space and building a visual language in complement to Henriata Nicholas’ integrated artworks.

The graphic and product language uses a base pattern derived from traditional tāniko – used by Henriata Nicholas to adorn the seat fabric within the main auditorium – which then defines the geometric language of the three-dimensional pictograms. The outcome supports RLC’s wood-first policy by fabricating the iconic pictogram suite from sustainably grown timber.

The applied information strategy allows theatres to be the main focus, whilst providing energy to other key environments, such as the studios, cafe and bar. The front-of-house wayfinding system for SHMC supports the function of the space and helps to knit architecture and artworks together, while keeping the spotlight turned firmly towards the performers.

Directional signage over the theatre doors at Sir Howard Morrison Centre designed by Maynard
Women using the directional signage near the elevator at Sir Howard Morrison Centre.
Different directional letters and icons for Sir Howard Morrison Centre designed by Maynard
Woman standing under the box office signage at Sir Howard Morrison Centre.
Woman walking through the Sir Howard Morrison Centre. Above and behind her shows directional signage for the theatre
The Design Team

Guy Hohmann – Director
Noor Alshawa – Wayfinding Designer
Emme Jacob – Wayfinding Designer
Sophie Harkness – Wayfinding Designer
Jordan Henderson – Industrial Designer

https://www.maynard-design.com/
Instagram: @maynarddesign
LinkedIn: Maynard Design Consultancy
https://www.linkedin.com/company/maynard-design-consultancy/

The Client Team

Rotorua Lakes Council

Client details

Instagram: rotorualakescouncil
Instagram: sirhowardmorrisoncentre
https://sirhowardmorrisoncentre.co.nz
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rotorua-lakes-council/?originalSubdomain=nz
https://www.rotorualakescouncil.nz

Collaborators

Henriata Nicholas
Expandasign


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