UCL Pearl

University College London
East London
Long-standing client University College London commissioned Placemarque to create the ultimate wayfinding strategy: one for a 9500 square metre research facility focused on people movement and exploring how good design can improve safety and wellbeing.
UCL Pearl (Person Environment Activity Research Laboratory) will explore the behaviour of crowds in places and spaces including moving environments such as public transport. The enormous laboratory will contain examples of modes of transport including railway carriages and an Airbus aircraft to enable researchers to recreate emergency scenarios.
Accessibility is a design driver on all of Placemarque’s projects, but it was by far the most important consideration for this one. A high proportion of visitors will have mobility, visual and cognitive challenges. If our designs work for them, they will work for everyone.
Placemarque worked with project architect Penoyre & Prassad to develop a wayfinding strategy and a suite of internal signs to direct users to rooms, spaces and facilities. Signs are positioned for maximum visibility and legibility and information is clear and concise. We recommended the use of matt white lettering on black rubber backgrounds to provide the maximum contrast to legends and maps.
Externally, with accessibility in mind, we recommended the use of large corten totems and coloured running track pathways to guide visitors to the entrance. These also create a strong brand for the new facility