Landsec: Lucent wayfinding

Category: Wayfinding; Entrant: DNCO

Lucent is a newly reimagined workspace located behind London’s brightest landmark, the Piccadilly Lights. Landsec asked DNCO to create a wayfinding system that reinforced the concept at the project’s core: an urban oasis amidst the bustle of central London.

“Taking our cues from the iconic Piccadilly Lights, we created an illuminated approach to wayfinding and signage, but perhaps not as you’d expect,” says DNCO. “Rather than add more lights, we designed a system that played with depth and shadow, helping cultivate the sense of calm and elegance at the core of this project. In this way the design remained understated while still realising the opportunity of using light as a concept. We worked with existing illumination and created robust forms that project from the walls to cast dramatic shadows across the different surfaces of the interiors.

“To protect the beautiful black bronze walls of Lucent, our wayfinding and signage uses the power of magnets. We worked closely with the architect and on-site teams to ensure that steel plates were fitted to the reverse of the panels ahead of installation so that the numbers stay deftly in place without mechanical fixings. The signs were finished with suede-texturing, elevating a level number to a beautiful sculptural element. In the reception we specified a projector that can display occupier names without damaging the wall, while staying conceptually linked to ‘light’. Easy to update, the projector can also be used for celebratory moments, animations and full wall takeovers.

“The architecture has raw materials contrasted with elegant finishes. Our typeface needed to respond to both, so we chose a stencil that celebrates Lucent’s industrial architectural moments but picked Vacant by Reserves for its delicate cuts and thin strokes. A stencilled typeface also allows light to pass between the bridges in characters, casting the strong shadows we wanted from the project’s beginning.

“Vacant is a typeface built around geometry, which helps with legibility, and we found many forms within the glyph set that lend themselves to creating human figures. We used these for the bespoke set of icons we designed, which means they can sit comfortably alongside the type – or stand happily alone.”

Design Studio: DNCO
Innovation Director: Patrick Eley
Wayfinding Director: Zoë Barrett
Design Lead: Sam Jay