Sinclair Centre in Vancouver is a government office and retail complex made up of four distinct heritage buildings constructed in 1910 and 1937, all of which were restored and connected by a glass covered atrium and galleria walkways in the late 1980s. Entro’s wayfinding program for the Sinclair Centre stands alone as a contemporary system that is integrated with the architecture, without being constrained by the historical references of the buildings.
Recent renovations have consolidated and expanded the Government of Canada Passport and Service Canada offices within the atrium court to provide better visibility and access for a higher volume of people. Future plans for the upper atrium level will provide a similar level of access for a planned expansion to the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Office. A diminished retail presence has meant a shift in the identity of the centre to one that is primarily a business or corporate hub for government services. Public Works Canada was responsible for leading the revitalization at Sinclair Centre and partnered with CTA architects for the project which also enlivens one of the grander but unappreciated interior public spaces in the city.
Entro’s wayfinding solution moves people toward the central space of the complex using a series of ‘street’ information pylons with colour coded elevator identification, simplified directions and orientation maps. The wayfinding has also established itself as a key element for unifying all the bilingual signage communications. Discussions with the client determined a need for clear separation between a new Sinclair Centre identity and related signage and that of the Federal Identity Program (FIP) typically used to identify government buildings and services. Entro’s solution combined a new bilingual wordmark for Sinclair Centre with a maple leaf motif as contemporary emblems in contrast to FIP but one that could, at the same time upgrade the FIP signage within the atrium. The distinctive colour palette for the program is derived from the green copper dome of the 1910 Post Office Building clock tower and the stately blue of the Canadian passport. On the exterior, the wordmark and leaf motif are rendered in contrasting stainless steel finishes and sit in relief against the historical stone facades.