DORAL DESIGN DISTRICT
Wayfinding Masterplan and Design Guidelines for a New South Florida Design District.
WHAT'S IN A NAME
Originally the area was to be re-branded the Tile & Marble District, however we believed that this name was too restrictive and did not reflect the complete vision of the future for the area. We recommended to the City and it's stakeholders that they re-brand the region as the Doral Design District, a more inclusive name for the wide variety of current and future business, cultural and residential activities envisioned for the area. Stylistically, the new branding that we developed for the district pays homage to the region's long tile and marble history. The typeface is a traditional serif font reminiscent of the letter forms the ancient Romans carved into marble facades. The accompanying 'triple D' icon is designed to resemble mosaic tile, and is a direct nod to the area's tile industry.
CREATING THE VISION
The vision for the new district was to expand beyond the existing commercial infrastructure, and to develop a thriving arts district with distinct entertainment, residential, retail, and cultural attributes. During the planning process, specific uses were defined for different areas of the district. To better define the concept, we divided the district into several named quarters that are each zoned for different uses and activities. This approach allowed us to 'sub-brand' different regions within the district, which allows for more targeted marketing and promotion as well as regional identity and wayfinding. This was not only a practical approach to land use, it eased concerns of local stakeholders that their existing informal identities would be preserved. With the input of residents and area stakeholders, we established a branding and wayfinding strategy for the area that preserved the past while advancing towards the future.
DEFINING THE DISTRICT
Through a series of public workshops, the team presented several alternative design motifs for future architecture, streetscapes and wayfinding. Ultimately, the City selected a Spanish Mediterranean theme as the preferred vision for the new district. In keeping with the chosen motif, we created a set of comprehensive visual guidelines depicting the primary elements of a new district-wide wayfinding system. We proposed monumental identity signs that define the primary gateways into the district, and a cohesive system of vehicular and pedestrian signage that will guide visitors to public destinations and parking. Freestanding pedestrian kiosks present orientation maps as well as the names and locations of area businesses. We worked with the City and the FDOT district office to plan and locate trailblazing signs to the new district along a nearby major expressway. Our final guidelines include district branding and usage, wayfinding strategy, definition of district boundaries and quarters, district nomenclature, typical vehicular and pedestrian sign locations, best practice signage examples, district sign types, depictions and descriptions of all major proposed sign types, and budget fabrication estimates to help the City plan for future implementation.
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