26th March 2015
We are back to report on our on-going work at Palace Green Library (see work in progress, posted February 2012). Located next to Durham Cathedral on the historic World Heritage Site, the Library, which is part of Durham University, houses the University’s special collections including Medieval manuscripts and early printed books as well as hosting exhibitions including viewings of the Lindisfarne Gospells and the Magna Carta.
The Library is a complex space, spread over several buildings and at least five levels. Many of the areas outside the main library are only accessed by staff. Working with Williams Design Associates, Picto were commissioned to developed a map of the site which is integrated into a specialist display wall within the main entrance.
We began with a series of architects floor plans of each of the levels, some provided in CAD format, other more remote spaces hand drawn. During the design development it was decided that focusing on the core areas of the building open to the public would reduce the levels to simply ground and first floor, making the space much simpler to understand. Rooms are shown simply as coloured blocks which defines how they can be accessed. Pictograms, with a supporting key, are used to show key facilities and where an admission charge is required. Finally a “You are here” indicator depicts where the map is located in context to the rest of the Library. A series of directional signs using corresponding terminology and pictograms start at key decision making points which are visible from the display wall location.