The Bruce Building

In 2015 Michigan Investment redeveloped the former offices of Newcastle Breweries, a building dating back to 1900. The £5 million refurbishment project reworked the Grade II listed property into a range of high-end student apartments, a regional office, managed offices and a retail space for Walton Robinson, a leading independent estate and lettings agency in Newcastle.

Working with:
Client: Michigan Investment
Architects: Space Architects


The project timeline:
November 2015:
Picto appointed to provide wayfinding and signage
Summer 2016:
Manufacture and installation

The Bruce Building Apartments name sign on an external brick wall in white letters
The Bruce Building external sign above the entrance
Wayfinding sign highlighting the floor numbers for each range of apartment numbers
A large number 2 on the wall at the top of the stairs to highlight the floor number

We developed three-dimensional maps of the multi-storey building to aid orientation and navigation.

A wayfinding sign to show the directions to apartments on the specific floor
A wayfinding sign on the stairs to show the floor number and the direction to specific apartment numbers
A direction sign to highlight where a range of apartments are
A sign showing the number of an apartment next to its entrance
A wayfinding sign with a washing machine icon to show the laundry room
A lift sign on a lift door showing the range of apartments on each floor
A sign showing the location of the lift to all floors
A bed with a picture of the world above it
A corridor in the Bruce Building with artwork on the wall
A picture on the wall of The Bruce Building showing a ladder against a wall
An external image of the Bruce Building in sunlight

What our client said:

“Picto’s confident approach combined with their willingness to listen to our concerns and preferences has resulted in a very successful project that we are extremely proud of.”

Richard Ponton | Client

The Bruce Building

In 2015 Space Architects approached Picto to develop a ‘hotel style’ wayfinding scheme for high-end student accommodation at The Bruce Building. The former offices of Newcastle Breweries had been converted into 57 apartments, spread across three sections of the original development.

With entrances at each end of the building, our package of wayfinding and display signage needed to guide the mainly post-graduate and overseas student residents into, through and out of the complex internal space with ease.

High-end accommodation in a former brewery building

The project’s primary wayfinding began with the clear identification of the two building entrances. We then moved through to the internal signs, developing 3D maps, supported by directional signs, that would guide residents to their floor and apartment and back out to their required entrance.

Directional signs were appropriately scaled and positioned at key decision-making points, and sans serif graphics, the use of clear language and pictograms, colour contrast and fixing locations ensured the project’s wayfinding met with DDA guidelines for signs.

Robust and signage for durability and clarity

Our client requested that the Bruce Building signs be of a high quality, be robust and easy to maintain. We specified materials to meet with these requirements and encapsulated all graphics to prevent the risk of them being picked off or otherwise damaged.

Flexible signage solutions for modern living

To further enhance the development we developed a range of flexible signage solutions, taking care to use materials that met with fire regulations. These included magnetic display boards for each apartment and lockable notice boards in communal areas.

Large format artwork creates visual impact

During the building refurbishment work a photographer was commissioned to record the projects’ development, the result of which is a fascinating set of images revealing the scope of the construction work and many of the original building details. A selection of these images was used as large format artwork, positioned along the corridors on each floor with a scuff-resistant finish.