Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Madison Building Signs

Way finding was always a challenge in the hospital setting. We even stooped to color coded lines on the floor to direct traffic in the main corridor. It's no different here at the Library of Congress Madison Building, or any large building for that matter. I remember being terribly confused when I came here for my job interview. So with a lot of planning, the new signs are now getting installed. One unique characteristic about the Madison Building is that it is a large square with an interior core. My understanding is that the primary purpose of the building was to house books but it is being used for both books and offices. Each corner of the building is color coded using a different primary color. As an example, all the doors, stairwells, handrails, bathrooms, and signs of the SW corner across from Capitol South Metro are gold/yellow. I suppose that was the only way to tell one end from the other. So the new signs reflect the old design scheme of gold, green, blue, red, and a new fifth color - bronze - for the center area. As usual, the signage is intense on the lower levels and tapers off the higher you venture. I was surprised to see pay phones as a line item, but they do still exist. I'm not sure how helpful the new way finding will be. One could argue it looks better, but more importantly, it is something else you can stare out while waiting for the elevator.

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