Austin Central Library

Austin, Texas Wayfinding for a Landmark Public Facility

Austin Central Library

For Austin’s new Central Library, fd2s created a wayfinding program worthy of the facility’s world-class architecture. Designed by San Antonio’s Lake|Flato Architects in conjunction with Shepley Bulfinch, the new six-story, 200,000-square-foot building replaces the Faulk Central Library as the flagship of the Austin library system.

The LEED Platinum facility is part of Austin’s Seaholm EcoDistrict, and will serve as an important location for community events, with spaces for performances, meetings, and other civic gatherings. The Austin Central Library is also considered one of the world’s most technologically sophisticated library facilities. A distributed technology solution for librarians allows patrons to check out materials at locations throughout the facility, and there is a wide range of technology and communication tools available for public use.

The library’s signage and wayfinding program reflects these themes of community, technology, and sustainability. Backlit exterior-identification signage celebrates the building’s function and its presence in the environment, and specialty areas inside the library are identified with playful letterforms that remind visitors that this is a place for people of all ages.

Stack identification signage is intentionally simple to facilitate future changes as the facility evolves, and special countertop letterforms identify freestanding areas that serve functions related to the checkout and return of materials. Signage also highlights the building’s sustainable features, like its valet parking area for bicycles.

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