At Centennial College the latest addition to the Progress Campus is a brand new multi-use building that houses the College's dynamic School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, as well as Centennial Place, a 740-bed residence. The academic features of the facility include classrooms, culinary and mixology labs with state-of-the-art equipment; and a 20,000 square foot multi-use conference facility with spectacular city views.
Initially contracted to develop the wayfinding program for the new building, the Entro team demonstrated the value and breadth of our design services, and were subsequently asked to design the brand for the campus residence and the Event Centre; the brand and interior theming for The Local Cafe and Restaurant; as well as key marketing pieces for both the venues (restaurant menus, Event Centre promotional materials, and accessible responsive websites). Our involvement from the outset of the building project, combined with a deep understanding of the College’s vision for the space, enabled us to create an unparalleled experiential program.
The Local Cafe and Restaurant
The Local Cafe and Restaurant is a full-service training restaurant and café for students of the culinary arts program. At The Local, students serve up globally inspired dishes to fellow students, Centennial employees, and guests. The logo is inspired by a digital map marker, to at once signify ‘you are here,’ and allude to the diversity (global influence) of the cuisine being served. We achieved this by having the map marker made up of a multitude of colours, which can be changed depending on the menu, to the flag colours of the cuisine being served. The Local uses the same visual language as Centennial Place to create a family of brands.
Centennial College Event Centre
The Event Centre located on the building’s eighth floor, is a multi-use facility intended for conferences, corporate events, banquets, private functions, and more. With a luxurious feel and striking views of the surrounding area, the Event Centre is a space that is unique to the campus. We developed an elegant and simple identity system that complements the Centre, while maintaining strong ties to the College and consistency with the Centennial brand. Much like the Event Centre itself, the logo is designed for flexible use in vertical or horizontal format. The serendipitous fact that the name had an equal number of letters, allowed us to space out the letterforms to create an interesting and elegant logotype, appropriate to the idea of event spaces.
In The Local, we developed solutions that aligned with the client’s vision for the space, while giving them the needed flexibility to take ownership over their desired content. The map marker icon from the logo gave inspiration to vertical multi-coloured bands and map illustrations that are translated into the physical space. The vertical stripes take their cue from the map marker and create an abstraction of the bands that make up many different country flags. To emphasize the variety of global cuisine offered on the menu, a set of physical, magnetic markers with colour interchangeability take precedence on the wall map. The environmental theming along with the logo, express the modern, affordable, casual and community-feel that defines the cafe and restaurant. This creates an ambiance that is welcoming and comfortable but more importantly captures the cultural and dynamic essence of the Culinary Arts Program.
Centennial College is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all students, employees, and visitors. This is pertinent not only to the physical space, but also for publically accessed school resources. In the creation of the Event Centre and the websites we were required to develop accessible websites that met a strict criteria regarding accessibility. Working together with SoulFX, we developed two fully accessible, responsive sites that support the mandate of the school.
We designed the Event Centre’s responsive website with simple, clear navigation that breaks information down into two key areas, “Venues” and “Events and Packages.” The layouts incorporate rich food photography and event-focused imagery, which highlights the adaptability of the Centre to host all types of functions. We designed a series of PDFs, available for download on the site, for users (clients) to understand how they might be able to utilize the spaces available. Green and grey accents give variety and contrast across the site, supporting the Event Centre brand under the Centennial College umbrella. See here.
For The Local Cafe and Restaurant website we played up the bold colour palette that makes up the icon. Large, vibrant blocks of orange, blue and green are matched with vivid, inviting food imagery. We continued the concept of global cuisine, locally with the introduction of the world map, and abstracted colour bands representing country flags throughout. As a fully responsive site, guests can access menu, event, and other information from anywhere they choose, keeping them connected to the College’s preeminent new destination. See here.
With clear visibility from the 401 highway, it was important that the building be identifiable from afar. Taking cues from the strong vertical components of the architecture – tall rectangular windows and extrusions – we positioned key identification vertically, spanning three storeys above the building’s main entrances. Illuminated freestanding pylons reinforce this vertical character at the vehicular and pedestrian level, signaling the entrance to The Local Cafe and Restaurant and Centennial Place.
On the interior, wayfinding was designed with modern affordability in mind, and a nod to Centennial’s overarching brand. The program utilizes alternating grey tones with the Centennial green providing a sophisticated accent on the edges of all college-use signage. In the residence, the signage program was adapted to a more lively, personal feel, integrated closely with the interior finishes and Centennial Place brand. For example, the colours applied to signs in each of the four corridors align with those used in the Centennial Place logo. This creates a playful and varied approach throughout each floor.
Working with Centennial College to translate their vision into the physical space has been a truly rewarding experience. We are grateful of the opportunity to demonstrate our breadth of skills, build on a burgeoning client relationship, and be part of such an exciting project.