Circuit of The Americas

Circuit of The Americas

Designing a versatile wayfinding program for an international audience at a multi-use, entertainment complex

Circuit of The Americas

Adaptable wayfinding for a multi-use, multilingual entertainment complex

How do you help local and international visitors find their way around an immense, world-class entertainment venue designed to host events as varied as Formula One races, premier outdoor musical performances, and large-scale corporate gatherings? fd2s was tasked with developing a versatile wayfinding and signage program in nine months while collaborating with a diverse set of stakeholders.

  • 3.4-mile, 20-turn convertible track
  • 120,000 crowd capacity
  • 20-acre grand plaza
  • 250-foot observation tower
  • 14,000-person capacity amphitheater
  • 9,000-person capacity main grandstand

Spectator-inspired navigation

Helping visitors find their way around the Circuit of The Americas, a huge venue with very few environmental and structural markers, is no small task. To implement a successful wayfinding program, fd2s needed to create a series of visual landmarks to serve as its foundation. Inspired by how people experience a Formula 1 race, fd2s conspicuously identified each of the 20 turns of the track as a way of helping people navigate the entire complex. The turn design compliments the iconic observation tower created by Miró Rivera Architects to create a cohesive environment. Because the venue was conceived to host myriad other cultural and large-scale events in addition to F1, fd2s designed an adaptable signage system that flips easily between events and provides opportunities for sponsorship and event-specific communication.

Creating a convertible palette

Our challenge in designing a signage and wayfinding program in a high-profile, multi-use venue is that the CoTA Formula One brand needed to be front and center to frame the experience of the main event. At the same time, the application of the CoTA brand had to be flexible enough so that non-affiliated events such as concerts or corporate gatherings don’t feel like an F1 experience. To accomplish this, fd2s simplified the Formula 1 color palette, therefore, expanding the narrative through which visitors experience a variety of events in the space. The rethought palette is used in the wayfinding and signage elements, providing a complete, on-brand system, that serves as an easy-to-convert canvas for non-F1 events.

Communicating with a universal language

Helping race-day and event visitors navigate to and from and around CoTA required a multicultural approach. Drawing from the language of numbers and symbols, fd2s developed a visual system of wayfinding markers and signage that originates at the remote parking lots and shuttle stops and continues across the entire complex. Color-coded shuttle routes help visitors migrate to and from the venue seamlessly, while strategically-placed pedestrian-friendly maps and kiosks help orient and direct visitors at events. The navigation stations offer additional opportunities for event-specific information and sponsor communications. This visual scheme enhances the experience of local and international audiences and adapts to different functions of the space, where parking and site configuration can change based on the event.