Thomas Matthews has been appointed to work on the signage, wayfinding and interpretation for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games athletes village.
The consultancy is part of the City Legacy team, which also includes developer Davis Langdon and architect RMJM, which is masterplanner and design champion for the project.
The athletes village project will see 700 riverside homes built on a 36ha site in Dalmarnock, in the East End of Glasgow.
Thomas Matthews design director Mark Beever, who heads the group’s Scottish operation in Glasgow, describes the project as ‘pretty much like building an entire village on a disused site’.
After the games have ended, the consortium plans to build a further 765 homes, an urban beach (pictured) and supervised play spaces.
Beever says the consultancy has been working with RMJM on the project for around a year, and that the relationship between the consultancy and the architect developed through personal contacts Beever had built up during his 13 years working in Glasgow.
He says, ‘RMJM is interested in Thomas Matthews because of the sustainability elements of our work and also because of the way we use wayfinding and signage to empower communities.’ The consultancy will now develop a wayfinding strategy for the entire site, and will work closely with RMJM’s art commissioning team to ensure that public art and wayfinding work together.
Beever says, ‘It’s a pretty much derelict site, but we have to make sure the signage doesn’t feel too foreign. It’s also important that it connects well with the surrounding residential areas. International athletes will be coming to stay at the village for the games, so we have to make sure that they get a flavour of Glasgow.’
Thomas Matthews expects to start on the work by the beginning of next year, says Beever, and it will need to be completed six months before the games start in July 2014.
Having picked up this work, Thomas Matthews now hopes to launch a more formal Scottish operation.
In the meantime, Beever will continue to represent the consultancy in Scotland, working out of RMJM’s Glasgow offices.
Paul Stallan, European design director at RMJM, says, ‘Our London office has been working on a couple of submissions with Thomas Matthews recently, and this is something we could look to embed in our offer.’
The organisers of the Commonwealth Games are currently seeking a consultancy to create an identity for the 2014 event.
Elmwood has developed the brand strategy for the games, while Tayburn designed the bid logo, and Navyblue acted as brand guardian.
Commonwealth Games City Legacy Plan:
- Under the plan (map pictured above) 700 homes will be built to house 8000 athletes and officials from around the world, and another 765 will be built after the games finish
- The affordable low-rise homes will feature a number of energy-efficient features
- The riverside site, in Dalmarnock, will feature an urban beach and supervised play spaces