Taikoo Shing schematic map


These schematic maps on totem signs are dotted around the Taikoo Shing and Island East developments. In terms of graphic design they are quite elegantly considered, and the schematic approach is a departure from the more common plan view street maps or floor plans. These maps are like railway network diagrams, abstracting and simplifying the landscape by getting rid of unnecessary details. Only connections between locations are shown, using nodes and branches. These schematics are always shown head-up: what’s ahead of you is shown near the top of the map. These maps are not to scale. The image shows a comparison of the schematic map with an image from Google Earth.

I live in the area, and from my experience these maps are not so easy to understand. The buildings are shown as red squares, which are not actual footprints of the buildings. All of the buildings have distinctive exteriors, and reducing them all to squares makes them indistinguishable from one another on the map. The blue lines connecting the red squares are routes that one could take to access the buildings. Some of these represent streets (with vehicular traffic); some of them represent footbridges connecting the buildings; and some pedestrian pathways crossing open piazzas. Some of these routes may not be obvious, unlike tunnels connecting stations in a metro system. There are also multiple entrances to the buildings, which the map does not show. The schematic works reasonably well when you are in the outdoor areas of the development, but is almost impossible to understand when you are inside one of the commercial buildings. The footbridges and pathways that meander through the buildings are a far cry from the orthogonal routes shown in the schematic. More context is needed for these schematics: street names would help, for example. Showing the buildings’ footprints, or isometric projections would also be useful additions.

Categories information design, signage, wayfinding
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