Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons – Environmental Graphics and Wayfinding
Size: 220,000 SF
Budget: $230,000 (Graphics Only)
Photographed by Jim Roof
Georgia Institute of Technology’s new Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons expresses the trend toward open, flexible classroom spaces that accommodate today’s more interactive, less linear educational experience. How students access information is similarly changing, and our wayfinding approach reflects that. Borrowing from environments like airports and transit stations where destination information must be delivered for quick choice, directional signage is located high, and the plan of each floor is in the mode of a transit map.
Georgia Tech’s colors are blue and gold, and the two hemispheres of the campus as a whole are denoted for wayfinding with gold signage on the east and blue on the west. This building sits close to the campus‘ axis, and is also aligned north-south. Thus the gold-blue/east-west system was replicated to distinguish the building’s two corridors.
The building’s west wall is of glass; to further transmit natural light, signage incorporates translucent resin panels. Each floor houses a different field of study, represented by corresponding motifs depicted on these panels and on interior windows. Biology is symbolized by a double helix, for example, earth and atmospheric sciences by orbital and cyclonic forms, physics with an atomic motif and – playfully – chemisty by the caffeine molecule.
Narrative by Jonathan Lerner