Photos by Gabriel Branbury
Sure, the big-impact design elements are impressive when it comes to the Bloomberg San Francisco Tech Hub environmental graphics and wayfinding system, which is located in an Art Deco–era building. But it’s the small details, developed in a way that amplifies content—the backbone of Bloomberg—that sealed the deal for this Best of Region winner.
Those details include transforming the exact GPS coordinates of each conference room into a part of the wayfinding signage; the custom-designed numbers inspired by the building’s rich history; the inspirational vignettes, showcasing things like Darwin’s Origin of Species chart, silkscreened in metallic gold on steel panels and attached to the existing concrete columns. It all makes clear that no stone was left unturned by San Francisco–based Volume Inc.
“The architects IwamotoScott designed a modern, sophisticated space that still acknowledges the building’s historical roots,” says Eric Heiman, Volume Inc. principal and creative director. “We were asked to extend this narrative.” As an architecture school graduate, Heiman took personal pride in helping to create a solution that respects and amplifies the work of the architects. “I can feel their pain when they design these beautiful spaces and then a graphic designer often comes in and ‘puts all these little stickers all over it’—[an] actual quote from one of the architects,” he says.
The result of the project was a natural extension of both the existing building and IwamotoScott’s new design. “Colors and textures were chosen to complement the steel, wood and glass used in the space,” Heiman says. “We just kept pushing ourselves to add more layers to the project, letting content drive the design process.”