Museum of Applied Arts Berlin reopens with new wayfinding solution

Berlin-based consultancy Double Standards has designed signage, wayfinding and applied graphics for the newly reopened Museum of Applied Arts Berlin.

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

Source: ⒸDouble Standards

The museum has been closed for three years for a renovation project led by architect practice Kuehn Malvezzi, which has responded to the original 1996 building by Rolf Gutbrod, who designed it in the spirit of post-war modernism.

Double Standards and Kuehn Mavezzi were appointed in a joint pitch after proposing bringing more light into the building, redesigning the exhibition spaces and improving visitor flow and orientation.     

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

Source: ⒸDouble Standards

New interventions include the foyer, where the ticket desk, information desk and cloakroom have been enclosed in white cube-shaped installations allowing them to “retreat into the background” according to Double Standards creative director Chris Rehberger.

This emphasizes the design of the staircase, which has been given a new “white spine,” he says.  

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

Source: ⒸDouble Standards

Double Standards has looked to create a simple signage system using red overhead signs to direct visitors around the building.

The new system uses a four-clour gradient running from red to black. There are three shades of red and the largest graphics are in the brightest colour. As signs get smaller the colours become darker until visitors are reading labels and graphic panels, which describe artifacts and are set in black in white. 

Video:

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

Rehberger says: “They reveal themselves one layer after the other and the closer you get the darker the type gets.”

Video:

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

The Museum of Applied Arts sits within the Kulturforum, a complex which also comprises the New National Gallery, Neue Staatsbibliothek (Berlin State Library) and many other cultural buildings.

Rehberger says Double Standard’s design had to clearly delineate the  Museum of Applied Arts (Kunstgewerbemuseum) so that it was not lost among the other institutions.

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

Source: ⒸDouble Standards

In particular bright red floor graphics have been applied to the ground in order to attract visitors attention and remind them where they are. These strips of colour start outside and continue inside the building.

The Design, Fashion and Jugendstil to Art Deco exhibition galleries have been overhauled as part of the redesign, which positions the museum as “a home for art, fashion and design.”  

Rehberger says that before the redesign “the building was dark and not somewhere you’d want to be unless you needed to be there.”

He adds: “The guidance system was non-existent – there was different typography everywhere, different systems. It was a mess.”

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

Source: ⒸDouble Standards

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

Source: ⒸDouble Standards

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

Source: ⒸDouble Standards

Video:

Museum of Applied Arts Berlin wayfinding by Double Standards

Latest articles

First look at London Design Festival 2018

This year’s week-long celebration of design will see installations by Kellenberger-White, Studio Frith and Waugh Thistleton Architects, plus a refined, “playful” visual identity by Pentagram’s Domenic Lippa.