Signage & Environments
Signage & Environments
In 2012, Axiom Design Partners were appointed to partner with the New Norcia Benedictine Community to build upon the findings and recommendations stated in a previously commissioned Interpretation Plan.
New Norcia is Australia’s only monastic town, with the Monastery, where the monks live, work and pray, at its heart. The monks of New Norcia live according to the guidance and rhythms of The Rule of St Benedict, which has been followed by monks since the sixth century AD.
We have been privileged to have the opportunity to partner with the community and develop and implement signage across a variety of wayfinding and interpretation installations throughout this most significant place.
Our role included the development of a design strategy and style guide followed by the development and design of specific signage projects – both wayfinding and interpretive. The scope of the project also required the management of tendering, fabrication, installation and maintenance.
We believe that signage is more than just functional, that you can use their form to enhance the sense of place, to orient, guide and engage at multiple levels with people’s emotions and memory, thereby adding a valuable layer of meaning and memory to a place.
The first project stage saw the installation of interpretive signs to the Monastic Precinct. These signs combine the rawness and enduring material Cor-ten steel, which is then ‘wrapped’ with finely etched stainless steel interpretive panels. This represents both the strength / persistence as well as the craftsmanship that the New Norcia monks are renowned. The interpretive signage appears to be ‘extruded’ from the earth and bows in reverence to the place it interprets. The steel of the plinth will rust and take on the personality and patina of its environment, further reinforcing the signs connection with the site.
The project is ongoing and subsequent stages have seen us develop a comprehensive wayfinding strategy to make the town more legible and easier to navigate. We have rolled out several prototype wayfinding signage types to nominated areas as well as continuing to roll out the interpretive signage to different precincts throughout the town.
The signage is consistently commended by visitors to the town. The materials are gracefully ageing and have indeed taken on, and become one, with the place in which they help interpret.
It is a project we are proud of and grateful to have had the opportunity to been involved.