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Out of the Park

The Client

Dream Commercial Properties manages $15 billion of assets across North America and Europe. They develop houses and condos, manage assets and investments, and own commercial and industrial properties in several major cities. With the help of parking management companies like Impark, they also manage parking facilities here in Edmonton like the 102 Street Parkade.

The Project

This parkade serves people who are visiting HSBC Place or the City Centre Mall. It’s also located just across the street from the new Rogers Place arena, so it’s perfectly placed for people who need somewhere to park during an event.

Dream decided to structurally restore the parkade to take advantage of the incoming traffic. They asked us to update the parkade’s wayfinding and design a way to enhance the surrounding environment at the same time.

Like many parkades, 102 Street had duplicate signage and information where it wasn’t needed. It also had a straightforward design and didn’t need any major instructions for vehicles apart from the usual cues for things like entrances, exits, and speed limit.

We focused on updating, consolidating, and removing unnecessary signs to make the system more efficient and direct people to pay stations without overwhelming them with information.

We also updated the pedestrian navigational wayfinding. The existing system didn’t have enough distinction between HSBC Place and City Centre Mall, and exit points tended to lead people to the mall instead of HSBC. This meant that some first-time visitors had trouble getting to the right building.

We solved this by calling out building entrances earlier in the route. Now people don’t get all the way to the lobby before realizing they’re in the wrong place.

The facility was showing its age, so Dream wanted a cool, modern look to enhance the space. The parkade also needed a wow factor to make it stand out from all the other parkades in the downtown core.

The connecting stairwells and elevator lobbies in particular jumped out to us as opportunities to create something visually interesting. Because these areas were heated, they weren’t likely to see a lot of the wear and tear we often find in outdoor parking areas.

We explored visual cues like level indicators in the stairwells and murals in the lobbies. Each mural has both a floor number and an Edmonton-themed image to bring in some local pride.

In our experience, different designs for different types of signs make it easier for visitors to find their way around. Even if someone doesn’t remember that they parked on level three, they’re still likely to remember seeing a photo of the Muttart.

Dream had partnered with Impark to implement a new pay-by-plate system. Because this system was being introduced overnight, our installation had to be finished that same night. This meant we started at 6:00pm and finished at 6:00am the next morning.

Even though it was tight, we successfully hit the due date and made sure the transition between systems went smoothly. We’re always punctual, but meeting that deadline was a pretty proud moment for us.

The Results

Dream was thrilled with our work. In fact, some of our suggestions that weren’t feasible during the project are now opportunities to expand our original design even further. The people who use the parkade every day love it, too. We’ve heard a lot of positive comments about how great our system looks and how easy it is to use. And we hope you enjoy using it just as much as we enjoyed designing it.

Before + After

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