SteersMcGillan strip for Panopticon

The last remaining bombsite in central London is in line to receive an eight-storey museum and exhibition centre called the Panopticon, which will be designed by architect Dixon Jones for University College London. SteersMcGillan is creating branding and signage for the building.

The Panopticon will act as a gateway to the campus and will house the university’s 80 000-piece collection of Egyptian archaeology in the three-floor Petrie Museum. Dutch exhibition specialist Opera is developing the design for the Petrie Museum.

According to SteersMcGillan partner Richard McGillan, the conceptual stage for signage and branding is complete and the next step is to conduct a wayfinding study for the interior signage. This is contingent on planning permission and funding confirmation.

‘The original brief was to develop signage concepts, but this developed into a branding job and so the branding had to be effective within the signage. We used a colour system, which is a very simple and effective way of representing each floor. The coloured strips are an integrated solution, where the branding is the signage and the signage is the branding,’ says McGillan.

SteersMcGillan won a four-way pitch to work on the Panopticon and is collaborating closely with Dixon Jones. ‘The Panopticon is seen as part of UCL, but also as a place in its own right. SteersMcGillan provided input on giving it its own identity,’ says Dixon Jones architect Adrian Westmacott.

The 3000m2 building is due to open next to Bloomsbury Theatre in 2008. Its floor space will house an exhibition space, a lecture theatre, study spaces and a café.

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