Scalabrini - Signage
By : Humà Architecture + Design
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition
Discipline : Communication & Branding : Grand Winner, Award of the Year Winner
Categories : Environmental Design / Signage : Platinum Winner
The Village Scalabrini is a social project that responds to the community’s desire to preserve a place of worship and meets the city of Montreal’s demand for affordable housing for all. The project includes transforming a heritage church into a community center and adding a new building with 51 units in the remaining land.
One of the main objectives was to create a tangible and strong connection with the church in the heart of the new building and enable dialogue and interaction between different tenants. As a community and social project, it was essential to create a friendly and warm atmosphere in common spaces while optimizing a limited budget.
Gradually, the design principles shifted towards signage, which quickly became the cornerstone of the project’s identity. The goal of this signage was to sublimate and recall the church by incorporating architectural elements into its design, create and align the project’s identity, and dress up the corridors, which were a little naked due to the lack of budget.
Scalabrini’s signage is laid on the walls like votive icons. Inspired by Menologion or Menaion calendars – wooden frames playing on the stacking and overlapping of geometric elements – it symbolically recalls the stations of the Cross and stylistically reminds the central stained-glass window of the church.
The signage includes apartment numbers, directional signage, and a large logo engraved on oak plywood, which this time reproduces the full shape of the church’s main stained-glass window in the lobby.
Composed entirely of white oak plywood, the CNC cutting counts three levels and plays with relief and negative space, once again taking up the language of stained glass where the glass is cut into the mass and then reassembled.
Our graphic design team hand-drew all the numbers, creating a custom typography. The stacking of shapes, just like the stacking of plates, creates a typographic game that extends to the material and then to the space in which it is anchored.