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Organisation: Two Twelve
Name: Shi-Anne Shakes
E-Mail: sshakes@twotwelve.com
Category: Wayshowing

Name of Project: Cincinnati Museum Center

Description of Project: Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) is located in the Cincinnati Union Terminal building. The Union Terminal building is possibly one of the most significant examples of Art Deco architecture in America. Not only is it an architectural masterpiece, the building is also a historic site, tied to the history of World War II and the City of Cincinnati. The Union Terminal Corporation (UTC) recognized the need to revitalize the community icon and National Historic Landmark. In 2016, it embarked on the site’s first comprehensive restoration project in the Union Terminal’s 85-year history. The goal was to recognize the UTC’s generous benefactors as well as honor the Art Deco architecture and the legacy of the space through designs that are versatile and timeless. Signage proved to be a major component of the overall scope to restore the building and its previously unrestored historically significant spaces. Stylistically, the structure required special attention to its combination of history and newly renovated contemporary areas, such as the lower level. With one comprehensive signage program, wayfinding created cohesion between contrasting spaces. A donor recognition wall enlivens the lower level through a design that mimics the history upstairs, depending on one’s site line. The scope of the project involved replacement of all common area signage and wayfinding to inform visitors to the Cincinnati Union Terminal building. It was not intended to be “branded” graphics for the Cincinnati Museum Center (the anchor tenant). Instead designers needed to reflect on the scope as a means to create and implement a palette that is timeless as to relate more to the interpretation of NPS standards in historic spaces. This is in addition to the pragmatics of clearly articulated directional signage for patrons and visitors.

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