University of Brighton Professor Charles Holland’s eye-catching Tooley Street Beacon is helping Londoners navigate a popular area in the capital.
The design by Charles Holland Architects, which was picked as the winner of a competition organised by the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) and Team London Bridge, is placed directly in front of London Bridge Station on the Tooley Street Triangle and comprises of two main elements; a scale map of the area printed on to the pavement and a giant signpost which provides information and directions to specific landmarks and routes which are typically quieter and less busy.
The colourful and striking beacon, commissioned by Team London Bridge, is described as an ‘Ordinance Survey symbol or Google pin come to life’ and was praised by judges for ‘the direct way in which it responded to both the brief and the site’.
Typically a difficult area to navigate for first-time visitors, the Tooley Street Beacon displays wayfinding information in three ways. Each side relates to the three roads that form the edges of the site, with historical background displayed above each one. This is below three signposts giving directions to local landmarks, above which a polished mirror ball is displayed, which reflects the map and the surrounding area in what Professor Holland describes as a “more oblique and gently surreal way”.
Professor Holland, who teaches in the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Brighton and is the principal of Charles Holland Architects, a design and research practice based in Deal, Kent, has previously exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He has also worked on a number of key projects, including A House For Essex, the practice’s collaboration with artist Grayson Perry.
Speaking about the beacon, Professor Holland said: “We are very pleased to have completed the installation of our designs for the Tooley Street Triangle. The beacon and the map are intended as playful and enjoyable additions to the streetscape that will improve legibility and give identity to this small but important part of the public realm.
“The project has involved a large number of different partners and stakeholders and we would like to thank Team London Bridge and LFA for their commitment in realising the commission”.
Find out more about Professor Holland’s research work at the University of Brighton.