Melbourne Design Awards - City Design Awards

Falls Creek Alpine Resort Wayfinding

Melbourne Design Awards 2010 - Winner

Project Overview

The Falls Creek Alpine Resort required the development of a wayfinding system to help visitors navigate the complex ski resort. The design of the sign system aims to promote the highest possible visibility of information whilst retaining the smallest presence of supporting structure. The system is extremely efficient, using a minimum number of elements for a range of sign types, whilst also minimizing the production energy requirements.

Project Team

Commissioner

Falls Creek Resort Management
Will Flamsteed

Creators

Buro North
Soren Luckins

Soren Luckins, Tom Allnutt, Dave Williamson, Ante Ljubas

Project Brief

A modular system of sign types was created to provide information in a wide variety of directions to suit the complex village topography and changing seasonal functions.

The challenge was to design a signage structure that blended naturally with the surrounding alpine environment, yet would still jump out like orange beacons when skiers required directions.

Project Innovation / Need

Minimum components that can be tailored to wayfinding requirements for the specific location of each sign. The modular system uses the least number of elements for the range of sign types created to function over changing seasons.

Design Challenge

The Falls Creek wayfinding and signage strategy has two main challenges. Firstly, the extreme topography of the village has created challenging and counter intuitive pathways for visitors, secondly, the processes, facilities and visitor profiles change dramatically between the summer and winter seasons.

The wayfinding strategy has attempted to simplify many of the typical pedestrian journeys within the village by proposing the formalisation of existing vertical access routes. These routes will create logical and more efficient pathways, and in some instances could provide an alternative to the oversnow experience during the winter months for the fit and willing.

In terms of production, Buro North also faced the challenge of developing materials and finishes that could withstand the freeze/thaw conditions as well as abuse from skiers, snow transport and the harsh alpine environment.

Sustainability

The system is extremely efficient. The modular system uses a minimum number of elements for a range of sign types whilst also minimizing the production energy requirements.

The designed system needed to be an environmentally conscious solution to match the resortís claim as the first alpine-based organisation to be benchmarked by Green Globe 21: the international certification program for sustainable tourism. A modular system of sign types was created to provide information in a wide variety of directions to suit the complex village layout.