Text by Richard Baird.
In The London Borough of Southwark sits the Grade II listed building and former headquarters of the London Fire Brigade, the city’s first fire station and a site currently under development. This will see it transformed into residential apartments with period conversations of the original Victorian building alongside a modern new-build. It is a one-of-kind property development that offers a unique intersection of historic and contemporary city living. London-based Jack Renwick Studio (JRS) were commissioned to develop the name, visual identity and communications for this new development, and were challenged with the task of appealing to both local and international markets.
Under the concept “Traditionally Different”, JRS developed the name Brigade Court and a visual language of juxtapositions. These celebrate the distinctive contrasts that exist throughout the property. These juxtapositions move between the elegant and sophisticated materiality of the brochures, the intersection of modern and historic images, and then towards moments of playfulness throughout the property’s marketing suite, which also features a deli and cafe. The visual identity links a variety of different touch-points, from property and floor-plan brochures to custom framed photo-montages, coffee cups, menus and window decals.
Opinion by Richard Baird.
The Broadview Hotel is located within one of Toronto’s most recognisable architectural landmarks. This was built in 1891 by a wealthy businessman who recognised the strategic importance of the East End as the city was expanding. It has been home to a business centre, acted as a political and social hub, and used as a hotel, boarding room and more recently, a strip club.
The building, over the last two years, has undergone extensive restoration and renovation, and now features a distinctive glass structure and new floor on the roof. This was done with great consideration for the original architectural details. Interior design, created by DesignAgency is inspired by the local community and is infused with a contemporary yet old-world grace. The hotel is made up of public spaces and 58 private bedrooms. These are peppered with what is described as a witty eclecticism that pays homage to the building’s past, with certain rooms featuring the original brass poles from the strip club. These homages are set alongside modern finishes and amenities.
Canadian graphic design studio Blok worked with the hotel to develop a visual identity that would embrace and express the building’s contemporary new voice, possess a similar wit and attitude, and finally acknowledge and celebrate the hotel’s East End roots. This is achieved in the contrast and collision of image and type, emphasised by a simple colour palette, and in the variety of secondary typefaces. This run across and links a plethora of printed assets. These included business cards, menus and coasters as documents here, but also wayfinding and signage.