If asked to design a wayfinding system for a rail-focused construction company, turning to railway design itself for inspiration might at first seem a little on the nose. But step into the Totetsu Training Institute outside Tokyo and the apparent simplicity of Motive Inc.’s graphic framework belies its cleverness.
With a strikingly straightforward approach, the team demarcated circulation routes on the floor using parallel lines that mimic a train track motif, weaving and intersecting to imbue the space with a dynamic sense of movement. Upstairs, it drew on the characteristic colour-coding of rail lines to inform the spatial organization and signage. Each room is assigned a hue that matches its corresponding key card, which is denoted with a portion of the train track. When placed side by side, the cards can be assembled to form a multitude of routes.
The railway references don’t end there. To incorporate the materiality of train tracks, steel rail scraps were utilized throughout, etched with the company name at the facility’s entrance and integrated within the staircases. Though the resulting space is visually stunning, the project’s success hinges on its ability to create an environment that is both user-friendly and easy to navigate while staying true to the brand’s identity — and, in turn, fostering a sense of pride in trainees.
Team Takuya Wakizaki (Motive Inc.); Kazuhiro Hosoda, Taketo Yano and Jun Nakagawa (Totetsu Kogyo Co.)
With a strikingly straightforward approach, Motive Inc. demarcated circulation routes on the floor using parallel lines that mimic a train track motif for the Totetsu Training Institute.