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Case StudyDec 12, 2022

Signage system by Entro brings unity to the Ingenium Centre

Exterior Photograph of the Ingenium Centre

By Udo Schliemann RGD, Principal Creative Director at Entro


The Ingenium Centre, located next to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, is a state-of-the-art facility designed to protect and showcase Canada’s national science and technology collection of historical objects and documents from Canada’s three museums of science and innovation: the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the aforementioned Science and Technology Museum. The nearly 36,000-square-metre Ingenium Centre relieved the overcapacity storage situation that these museums’ warehouses faced for years.

Home to thousands of artifacts, the Ingenium Centre also features a modern library and archives on the first floor, which is open to the public by appointment. The rest of the building offers purpose-built storage for artifacts, a research institute, conservation laboratories, a digital innovation lab, a resource centre and more. Entro designed a signage system that complements the architectural intentions while helping to identify zones/collections in this massive space.

Interior photograph of door signage


Since Ingenium is a collaborative space for three distinct museums, the Centre’s façade features green, red and blue — the three colours of the Ingenium logo. Entro used this colour scheme in the signage, bringing the branding indoors. Painted acrylic signs feature a vertical pattern that echoes the exterior of the building to create a sense of cohesion throughout. The Centre presented some challenges, namely its size. Signage had to be bright/highly visible and strategically located to provide orientation and identify collections. The design strategy for the architecture and the signage uses colours to represent the content of each constituent museum; Green for the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Blue for the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and Red for the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

Exterior Photograph of the Ingenium Centre

More about the Ingenium Centre: Although the Centre only contains four floors, it stands nearly as tall as a ten-storey building so it can accommodate large and irregularly-shaped artifacts, including vintage cars, bicycles, tractors and a 1201 Locomotive, which is 23 metres (75 feet) long and weighs 185 tonnes (410,000 pounds). The collection also features instruments, tools and equipment from diverse fields of science and technology, which require specialized environments to ensure their long-term preservation. Other unique items stored at the Centre include propellers and ship models, as well as cameras, televisions and telephones.

Credits: Principal Creative Director: Udo Schliemann RGD, Senior Designer: Ian White

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