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Marcia Hocevar

Interior Design Elements Create Character & Identity in a Facility

Interior Design Elements Create Character & Identity in a Facility

Color and graphics are compelling design elements which establish character and identity by developing a story unique to each facility. Whether you’re designing a new facility from the ground up or looking to renovate or update an existing one, attention to interior details of your facility will help ensure success.

Customizing spaces through the use of color and interpretive imagery specific to the location establishes a connection between patrons and the facility. Not only do these elements create a visual connection, but they evoke particular feelings and emotions, establishing a visceral connection as well. When patrons feel a connection to the building, they will choose to return time and time again. Following are six ways in which simple color and graphic concepts can be used to define and enhance the design of your facility:

NUMBER 1: COLOR
Color shapes environments and creates specific feelings or attitudes. Highly-saturated and brilliant colors are successfully applied in the high-energy, high-activity fitness areas at Kroc Suisun

Color is also a communication device. The brightly-colored walls at Olathe Community Center serve as an effective wayfinding tool, guiding people through the building by marking circulation and identifying destinations.

The graphic application of color on large wall areas of gyms and natatoriums is a striking and economical way to visually enliven and energize large-volume spaces and expansive walls. The application of painted sound absorption panels on walls of the gymnasium at Kroc Salem creates colorful, simple graphic patterning.

NUMBER 2: ICONIC ELEMENTS
In almost every facility location, there are easily recognizable and identifiable natural or cultural elements. This kind of connection is important because it bolsters the idea of a facility belonging to a particular location and creates a place in which the community comes together to socialize and recreate. For example at Kroc Coeur d’Alene, the tamarack larch is an indigenous tree to the region, and the branch structure of this tree became the inspiration for the all of the detailing in the facility.

NUMBER 3: PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES
The use of large format digital prints is another method to add color and graphic imagery to facility spaces. At the Paul Derda Recreation Center in Broomfield, Colorado, the design concept for the project was where the mountains meet the plains. A local photographer’s images of the mountains and the plains reinforces this design concept in large images on the wall in the natatorium and the lobby.

NUMBER 4: THEMES
Theming in a facility, and particularly in those areas focused toward children, is a method for successfully engaging different age groups. The child watch area at Gypsum Recreation Center is airplane themed.

NUMBER 5: ACTIVITY GRAPHICS
Recreation Centers are hubs of activity and the actions and movements created as a result make perfect design features within a facility. Kroc Augusta is an example of using large images of water elements and swimmers to enhance the interiors of the natatorium.

NUMBER 6: HISTORICAL ELEMENTS
Incorporating a community’s history is a simple and direct way to link the past and the present by highlighting locations, events and people that have shaped them. These graphics can be informative, educational, emotional and decorative but are appreciated by visitors and locals alike. Kroc Green Bay features a history wall to connect the building back to the community.

Color and graphics are great design tools to help shape spaces and create unique and expressive facilities that truly represent their location. It’s never too early or too late in the process to consider the interior design elements of your facility as an imperative part of its success. Whether you have a large budget or are looking for an economical solution, some simple graphics and strategically placed color will not only help to draw patrons into your facility and navigate them throughout, but also serve to establish a connection between them, encouraging their likely return.

Posted by Marcia Hocevar on July 2, 2015 at 02:35pm

Tags: materials (4), interior space planning (7), community recreation center (17)

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