Creating a coordinated range of physical components was key to the vision of
Bristol Legible City, thereby reinforcing the identity and image of the city.
Designed with PSD, their intention was to create street furniture products that
integrated physically with the environment and worked with Meta Design’s
graphic elements. The concepts were required to translate into a range of products,
including Adshel’s information units and, potentially, transport shelters
and information points.
The design ‘signature’ of the range does not draw on a literal or
singular reference, but is intended to reflect Bristol’s robust character
with its pioneering and engineering heritage. The aim was to create a physical
presence that made information obvious and legible, when needed, but otherwise
would regress so as not to dominate the cityscape.
Although a unique design for Bristol, the pedestrian signs were still detailed
as a system type product. This gives economies of scale in manufacture whilst
ensuring it is easy to update, maintain and replace individual elements.
The choice of materials was crucial to delivering a level of quality that would
reflect positively on the identity of the city. Using high quality materials
ensured longevity and an enduring appearance, essential if a positive identity
is to be sustained. The system required durable materials that will minimise
vandalism and offer easy maintenance. A vitreous enamel finish was specified
for the map and monolith panels. This is a glass like finish within which the
graphic elements can be embedded, therefore, leaving a surface that is easy
to clean. The main post structures, base plates and plinths utilised shot peened
stainless steel for a self-maintaining finish.
The choice of high quality materials involves a higher than normal capital investment,
but delivers sustainability and best value through its life cycle.The long term
maintenance and replacement costs are significantly lower, both financially
and in use of resources. Even though information will need to be updated from
time to time, the main physical structures have the ability to last for decades.
The main stainless steel elements also hold an inherent value as a material;
being uncoated they can be easily recycled which will allow for recovery of
investment at sometime in the future.