Southmead Hospital Wayfinding

Project team


Carillion for North Bristol NHS Trust




The Project

Human Space was commissioned to provide wayfinding and graphic design services for an acute care hospital in the south west of England. The new hospital provides patients and staff with a high quality, hotel-like environment fit for the 21st century.

Early on in the design process, wayfinding was identified by the client as one of the most important criteria in the design of the new hospital. The client’s goal was to create a simple way of making the building as legible as possible, one which would work for people with low or no vision and other patient groups.

Working in a very integrated way with the design team and the client, we devised a ‘gate’ system similar to that used at an airport. Vertical circulation cores give access to one or more gates identified by number, that in turn give access to departments and key destinations.

Our graphic designers created a family of signs that are clear and easy to understand for everyone. They applied inclusive design principles such as considering the size and legibility of type when viewed from certain distances, considering colour contrast, the use of pictograms and techniques of tactile materials and lighting.

Project Images