When Wood&Wood were first awarded the tender for signage at Westfield Stratford, one of the key elements was the scale of the project. Providing 1.9 million square feet of retail and leisure space, Westfield Stratford is equivalent to 24 football pitches and is so big it required a new postal area code, E20. The signage requirement would run into thousands.
We started working with architects The Buchan Group and Populous to develop prototypes of the main sign types before full manufacture started at the beginning of 2011.
The range of signs included a full suite of car parking signs with over 10 tonnes of aluminium providing colour coded car park columns for each floor. These are complemented by suspended directional signs some of which house the vehicle management systems so car parking spaces can be easily identified. Once you have parked your car signs show the nearest exits for specific locations such as “Cinema” and “John Lewis”. The three car parks provide a total of 5,000 spaces.
As pedestrians leave the car park and enter The Mall, striking stainless steel letters “To Shops” stand 800mm high. Lift directories and suspended information signs guide visitors to key facilities and specific shopping leisure areas.
In and around the Mall a family of totems provide directional and mapping information, the largest totems appear on the approaches and act as a major beacon with an illuminated acrylic header, those inside the Centre carry leaflets and maps as well as directional information. Further in, at key junctures, slim line monoliths have illuminated headers and more specific map and directional information.
A more crafted design was chosen for the Great Eastern Market using mild steel on timber and glass to give an individual look to the eclectic food market.
Installation of the signs was phased over several months, rising to a peak in the last few weeks when our installation team worked around the clock to deal with last minute requirements.
The scale and complexity of this project required meticulous project management, with online tools facilitating the exchange of drawings, location maps and schedules between all the organisations involved in this fast paced development.
With a catchment area of over 4 million people and 75% of visitors to the Olympics expected to pass through the centre the wayfinding signage is going to play a vital role.