In 2018, Picto provided wayfinding and signage at Smokehouses, two new and contemporary-style apartment blocks at Smith’s Dock on the banks of the River Tyne. The apartments are part of a wide-reaching development by award-winning urban regeneration specialists, Urban Splash – their first development in the North East. Working with Places for People, Urban Splash is building a new coastal community at Smith’s Dock.

Working with:
Client: Urban Splash
Architect: SimpsonHaugh
Contractor: Robertson


The project timeline:
July 2018: invited to tender for the project
September 2018: Picto appointed
December 2018: signage manufacture and installation

The fully glazed gables of Smokehouses apartments
Corridor directional signage and wayfinding design
Directional signage at Smokehouses apartments
Directional signage on concrete

To get the details right for the architects’ vision, we developed the typeface specified by SimpsonHaugh for use as stencil-cut numerals on the apartment numbers. And applied vinyl graphics, designed for use on rough-textured surfaces, direct to the concrete feature walls.

Numerical wayfinding
Detail of directional signage on concrete
Wall mounted cut out wayfinding and signage
Directional signage at Smokehouses
External facilities signage
Picto signage for Urban Splash
Smokehouses wayfinding and signage

What George Clarke said:

“The plans for the whole area make for a wonderful community. Smith’s Dock is an important historic site and the development is the epitome of true regeneration – with diverse home designs, sensitively designed public spaces and the reopening of the stunning waterfront. When complete, Smith’s Dock is going to be a great neighbourhood to live in and I’m proud that my Fab House design is part of it.”

George Clarke, The Chronicle

Creating a new coastal community in North Shields

Smith’s Dock features three styles of living space. Together with the Smokehouses apartments, there is a crescent of townhouses, designed by Shedkm, and ten Fab Houses, designed exclusively for Smith’s Dock by George Clarke, one of the most respected minds in modern housing, working with TDO Architecture.

Designed by Manchester-based architects SimpsonHaugh, the striking design of the waterside Smokehouses apartments was inspired by the buildings that line the nearby historic Fish Quay in North Shields.

“Our aim was to provide a unique residential experience that contributes to the identity of Smith’s Dock. Drawing inspiration from the form and scale of the adjacent Brewery Bond Warehouse, the fully glazed gables will offer residents spectacular views across the River Tyne.”

David Green, Partner at SimpsonHaugh

Each of the 80 Smokehouses apartments features panoramic views across the River Tyne and, together with the Smith’s Dock masterplan, forms part of the wider coastal living scheme, developed by award-winning regeneration company, Urban Splash. 

“Urban Splash and Places for People – the joint developers breathing new life into the former dockyard in North Shields, creating more than 800 homes, workspaces, green spaces and public amenities.”

Directional signage and wayfinding for modern living spaces

Contractor Robertson Construction invited Picto to work on the Smith’s Dock development when they recognised that the specific requirements of the architects to realise their vision for the signage would need careful handling.

“I first worked with SimpsonHaugh in 2003 and am delighted that Picto were invited to be a part of this development – Urban Splash’s first in the North East. We’re proud to add Smokehouses at Smith’s Dock to Picto’s growing portfolio of projects in the living spaces sector.”

Sarah Phillips, Director

Wayfinding design for contemporary living at Smokehouses

The regeneration of the historic former shipyard on the north banks of the Tyne sees Urban Splash bringing the area back to life as a new coastal neighbourhood.

“When creating Smokehouses, the design team reflected on the history of the site. They took inspiration from the quayside where a number of warehouses line the river along with the traditional smoke houses of the Fish Quay. The design for Smokehouses responds directly to these buildings, especially their industrial edge, from the shape of the buildings to the red zinc that wraps over the sides to form the roof.”