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Case StudySept 23, 2021

Inspired by the Architecture, Entro develops youthful Wayfinding and Environmental Graphics for McMaster Student Residence

Written by Entro


McMaster University’s new Peter George Centre for Living and Learning is the first new residence on campus in 15 years. The 335,000 square-foot building combines a 500-bed residence with academic spaces and student amenities. It was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects to meet the needs of a growing student body. Facilities include two auditoriums, an active learning classroom (405 seats), a children’s daycare, a café and underground parking. When designing the wayfinding and environmental graphics program, our goals were to infuse the space with youthful energy and draw inspiration from the building’s architectural features to ensure an integrated and cohesive experience. 


The Centre’s round atrium houses a striking helical staircase that links the academic and common spaces. Recognizing the staircase as an intuitive wayfinding landmark, we were inspired by its form to design curved signage panels that wrap the building’s columns. Floor level identification is also applied directly to the surface at each of the staircase landings to confirm your location within the complex.

We selected playful graphics and bold colours that enliven the space and help differentiate between different levels, graduating into lighter hues closer to the top of the building. More colourful applications were used for the common spaces and amenities, while more neutral tones were reserved for the classrooms and academic facilities.


The environmental graphics program helps integrate and differentiate academic and residential spaces using colour, patterns and typography. Bold colours and playful graphics welcome students, highlight the building's many student amenities and set the tone for socialization and collaboration.


Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects
Fabricator: WSI
Photography: Doublespace, Adrian Ozimek
Entro team: Dave Wilkinson, Teodor Herman RGD, Monika Meyer, Vanessa Tarasio, James Smirlies


Entro is a design firm that is at the intersection of branding and 
experiential graphics. Inter­na­tion­ally renowned for build­ing expe­ri­ences through visual commu­ni­ca­tions, we create power­ful, dynamic expe­ri­ences and envi­ron­ments, special­iz­ing in brand­ing, signage, wayfind­ing and exhibits. By leveraging our deep understanding of human interactions, we make everyday experiences inspirational. 

Our compe­tency comes from a multi-disciplinary team who work in multi­ple sectors and envi­ron­ments collab­o­rat­ing with renowned clients across the globe. World­wide we create brands and expe­ri­ences in promi­nent places. 

We merge a clas­sic, avant-garde design philos­o­phy with strate­gi­cally bold, creatively power­ful and uniquely prac­ti­cal design solu­tions, result­ing in distinc­tive brands and spaces. 

We are dedi­cated to analy­sis, strate­gic real­iza­tion, and design integrity; this is the basis of our repu­ta­tion. We are skilled at manag­ing complex stake­holder engage­ments and are commit­ted to design excel­lence, achiev­ing timely, func­tional and impact­ful results.


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