Inaugurated in 1962, Place Ville Marie (PVM) is in the heart of the business center of Montreal with nearly 10 000 thousand people working there on a daily basis. It includes a shopping mall with more than 70 businesses and is a focal point of the underground city. Employees and visitors to the complex have the opportunity to use the underground pathway within the Place Ville Marie, which offers over 1,000 parking spaces on two levels.
Major repairs of the infrastructure have been undertaken and the underground parking facility required intensive work. This allowed for a review of the directional and informational signage program. Two main objectives were put forward to Signature design communication by the facilities management group at PVM. First and foremost, the visitors needed to be given a sense of awareness and direction. They also had to be given a sense of security in a confined underground facility.
In depth survey of the facility was the first step taken by the design team to achieve a better understanding of the existing problems. Color and graphic symbols were used to enhance messaging, while directory and information signage were added at strategic intervals, constant reminders of the parking grid. Nomenclature was also painted on wall surfaces, giving the visitor a sense of orientation.
In respect to security issues, to facilitate the coexistence of motorists and pedestrian, corridors were clearly marked. A specific graphic language was used for the identification of emergency exits and emergency alert stations, all giving the pedestrian a sense of security.
The master planning and solutions provided for the wayfinding in the underground parking area were phased out during a three year period due to ongoing construction within the parking structure. The parking facilities remained open during construction and great care was taken to install and upgrade a temporary signage system in order not to interfere with the flow of motorists, pedestrians and security issues.
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