Project / Plaza Arkadia
Task / Wayfinding, Signage and Environmental Graphics
Client / Perdana ParkCity
Year / 2016—2017
Computer Renderings / AVisual
(Plaza Arkadia is only half-occupied at the time of writing)

 

Plaza Arkadia is a 11.3-acre mixed-use development comprising nine 4-storey buildings that is positioned as a stylish lifestyle district.

The architecture is a contemporary interpretation of the British colonial style. Hence, the buildings are named after prominent British residents during the Colonial Malaya era, who were also honoured with streets named after them.

Plaza Arkadia is open air, walkable, with ground floor arcade-fronted High Street and first floor Courtyard shops, offices, and SOHOs. It is also linked by a series of interconnected courtyards and sky bridges. With nine buildings, 13 sets of escalators, and 16 lifts scattered around the development, the primary task for our designers was to resolve the wayfinding.


whwWeb_Arkadia_gallery1.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_gallery12.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_gallery2.jpg

BUILDING IDENTIFICATION

We were given the names of the eight buildings, each name corresponding alphabetically: A=Anson, B=Bellamy, C=Campbell, D=Davidson, E=Eaton, F=Faraday, G=Gurney, and H=Hutton. The ninth building was to be Perdana ParkCity’s own headquarters and is, therefore, not part of the nomenclature.

For the most part, we emphasised the buildings’ alphabetical identifier by underlining the first letter of the names. The main entrance signs, however, were given a different treatment to further accentuate this. While the names are useful in giving Plaza Arkadia its character, the alphabets are more practical for easy recognition and wayfinding, especially for first-time visitors.

As such, we decided to enlarge and repeat the first letter of the names for the main entrance signs.

whwWeb_Arkadia_Entrance G (9754)_EDT.jpg
 After testing, we realised that it made for clearer communication to have a separate 'A', underlined to represent Building A, for the main entrances.

After testing, we realised that it made for clearer communication to have a separate 'A', underlined to represent Building A, for the main entrances.

whwWeb_Arkadia_Entrance E&F (P1100925).jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Lift Lobby A (9765).jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Staircase D (101918).jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Staircase E (104213).jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Staircase G (105000).jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Toilets (102338)_cropped.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Toilet Detail (111752).jpg
 Retail signs were strictly controlled, given specific guidelines (such as size and location) to reduce clutter.

Retail signs were strictly controlled, given specific guidelines (such as size and location) to reduce clutter.

whwWeb_Arkadia_Parking_Ladies (114223).jpg

IN SYNC WITH THE BRAND

Desa ParkCity’s leafy residential neighbourhood is famed for its pet-friendly public central park, lake, private gardens, tropical plantings, as well as walking and cycling trails (before they became ‘trendy’ and a must in new residential developments), allowing residents to enjoy the therapeutic qualities of nature with ease.

We proposed the use of images of flora and fauna as a theme for the carpark to support the Desa ParkCity brand, and to assist visitors in wayfinding as the carpark is spread under the nine buildings with different lift access. Distinctive images aid memory recall in locating one’s vehicle. The graphics also served to enliven the carpark levels. 

 Entrance to carpark lift lobby. 

Entrance to carpark lift lobby. 

BUILDING IDENTIFICATION — a graphic approach

whwWeb_Arkadia_Entrance Lobby_09 A & B.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Entrance Lobby_10 C & D.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Entrance Lobby_11 E & F.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Entrance Lobby_12 G & H.jpg

CAR PARK COLUMNS

There was an initial idea to paint the columns in the carpark levels in deep grey against an overall white space—a premium look—but the final consensus was to use colour coding for a more efficient wayfinding system.

Arkadia_Black_ Column Parking 1.jpg
Arkadia_Black_ Column Parking 2.jpg
Arkadia_Colour_Column Parking.jpg

CORRIDOR MARKINGS

Bright and lively graphics along the corridors in the carpark levels help visitors differentiate between buildings.

whwWeb_Arkadia_Corridor_Anson.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Corridor_Bellamy.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Corridor_Campbell.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Corridor_Davidson.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Corridor_Eaton.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Corridor_Faraday.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Corridor_Gurney.jpg
whwWeb_Arkadia_Corridor_Hutton.jpg
We worked with the Desa ParkCity team over 6 months to finalise the illustrated wayfinding system.

Unfortunately, news came that the variation orders from numerous consultants have been piling up. I heard from the grapevine that the client was extremely upset as the project had exceeded its budget by RM1.7 million. Our signage work was scaled down and the colourful graphics aborted, but we were fully paid, thanks to an appreciative client.
— William Harald-Wong