A brand new Wayfinding system will see the City of Bath entering a new phase in its development as part of a wide ranging scheme to improve the public realm. The distinctive bronze monoliths with circular maps, designed by PearsonLloyd in collaboration with graphic information designers Cityld and FWDesign, were introduced to the historic city this summer and will enable tourists, day visitors, families, business people and shoppers to navigate and explore the city.
The project’s key challenge was to develop designs with an aesthetic that would allow Bath, which is the only entire city in England designated as a World Heritage Site, to express itself as a contemporary city while remaining in harmony with its extraordinary, picturesque heritage. The emphasis was placed on pure geometry to connect Bath’s famous Georgian architecture with the everyday needs of the city’s citizens and visitors.
PearsonLloyd strove to design a wayfinding system that would communicate practical information whilst capturing the essence of Bath’s historic and Georgian character. The answer lay in the geometric forms beloved by the architecture of 18th century and the Age of Enlightenment. The resulting design was a circular, vitreous enamel map (designed by FWDesign) set within a bold, bronze, monolith. The round form it encloses references traditional scientific instruments, such as the compass, lens and sundial. It also accentuates the vision of the historic city sitting in a bowl in the landscape encircled by hills.
The use of bronze is key to the design’s success. Although a man-made material, it has an authenticity which complements Bath’s local stone and slate roofs. Bronze has both practical and aesthetic advantages with the added advantage of being cost effective to maintain and its acquisition of a beautiful, rich patina over time.
The wayfinding monoliths are complemented by city-centre bus shelters which share the same, bold, bronze aesthetic and have a powerful, modern presence in Bath’s classical streetscape.