Launch Slideshow

Elevator placards

Oak Street Garage Signage

A new wayfinding and signage system cools heads at a city government parking garage.

Oak Street Garage Signage

A new wayfinding and signage system cools heads at a city government parking garage.

  • Floor signage

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    Floor signage

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    Mike Sinclair

    Floor signage

  • Elevator placards

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    Elevator placards

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    Mike Sinclair

    Elevator placards

  • Signage over parking spaces

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    Signage over parking spaces

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    Mike Sinclair

    Signage over parking spaces

The team at El Dorado completed two projects for the Oak Street Garage—Pulse, a grid of blue LED train signal lamps that react to movement on two staircases, which was completed in 2003 (see timeline, page 81), and a wayfinding and signage system, completed in 2009, to help visitors navigate the 10-story garage’s confusing double-helix layout. In collaboration with graphic design firm Willoughby, the El Dorado team created a system of signs and placards that combine four visual cues—color, numbers, faces, and names—to help imprint the location of each visitor’s car. Placards on each floor and in each elevator cab depict either male names and faces—starting at infant (ground floor) and moving up to octogenarian (roof level)—on a green background, or female names and faces on an orange background, depending on which side of the building the visitor is parked. The hope is that including four visual cues will trigger visitors to remember at least one, meaning fewer lost cars and frustrated drivers.

Project Oak Street Garage Signage Client City of Kansas City, Mo.—Ingrid Bunn (project manager) Architect El Dorado—Dan Maginn (principal in charge); Sean Slattery (project manager); Brady Neely (design support and prototyping) Graphic Design Willoughby Electrical Engineer Lankford + Associates Structural Engineer Leigh and O’Kane Cost $230,000 Completion April 2009