Transbay Transit Center Environmental Graphics

San Francisco’s new intermodal Transbay Transit Center will replace the existing transit center located at 1st and Mission in San Francisco’s rapidly changing South of Market neighborhood. WRNS Studio is currently developing all of the transit related Environmental Graphics for this new facility. Spanning five blocks and situated within five stories (three above grade and two below), with multiple entry points, the building presents unique wayfinding design challenges. Additionally, the building design itself is the focus of attention, with a ribbon glass canopy and angular superstructure, undulating ceiling planes and walls of glass. Much like an airport, the transit center must provide a significant amount of information that is constantly in flux. In response, digital technology is integrated with the comprehensive wayfinding system to convey information, including bus/train schedule, transit route, building directory, and rooftop park information. To further address the complex wayfinding needs, a “progressive disclosure” approach has been adopted — providing patrons with the exact information they need at each decision point. Integrated with the architecture, a system of highly visible, yet formally simple wayfinding pylons spring from the floor and rise above the crowds, while not attaching to or detracting from the complex forms of the building. Wayfinding information is revealed through universally recognized icons, with limited words, to accommodate the variety of languages spoken by patrons.

WRNS Studio is also developing the interpretive graphics for the Transit Center’s “City Park,” a significant new public space on the roof of the transit hub. The park will showcase the sustainable features of the building and will educate visitors by showcasing flora found in temperate climates around the globe.

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