for wellbeing

When a much-loved neighbourhood aquatic centre underwent a transformation, Diadem ensured its wayfinding reflected the needs of the council and community.

Diadem prepared a wayfinding strategy and concept designs before moving into tender documentation and design guardianship during construction.


Darebin City Council


Warren & Mahoney

Traditional Custodians

Wurundjeri Woiwurrung People


Tom Roe Photography

A deep

Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre is a state-of-the-art council-run facility in one of Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs, committed to promoting health, wellbeing and lifelong learning.

Darebin City Council had decided to build a new centre that would not only meet the changing fitness needs of the community, but would also target net zero emissions. As a 6-star Green Star-rated building, it would set a benchmark for sustainability as an all-electric, eco-friendly swimming pool.

Diadem prepared a wayfinding strategy for the centre, followed by wayfinding designs, tender documentation and design guardianship during construction.

Diadem’s key objective at every stage was to enhance the experience for all. Rather than simply communicating information, the wayfinding needed to contribute to an easy experience for every user.

council principles

Diadem’s wayfinding strategy directly referenced the masterplan’s guiding principles, including safety, inclusivity, environmental stewardship and community engagement.

Diadem balanced the council’s existing signage package with the natural, muted architectural fit-out designed by Warren and Mahoney.

Journey planning involved locating the council signage in and around the centre, ensuring everyone arriving (by car, bus, bike or on foot) could easily find their destination.

A cleaner

One unique problem to solve through this project was how to best guide users through the changing room and showers so that they would ‘pre-rinse’ in the European style of bathing. This allows the water in the pools to be treated less, making the centre more sustainable.

Easy-to-read (and understand) signage brought this component to life and helped to educate users on the centre’s wider sustainability aims.

“Warren and Mahoney have had a long and enduring relationship with Diadem across our entire studio network. One of the critical aspects of great signage and wayfinding outcomes is an integrated approach where the architecture and communication strategies speak the same language.

As an account manager, Chloe was a great resource in aligning client expectations and the program, and Matt brought real design intelligence and wisdom to the final design outcome. There were several specific council requirements in terms of specific signage typologies. Matt was able to navigate a delicate path to an innovative interpretation of the standard Darebin signage typology.

The final signage delivered integrates and reinforces the intent of the architecture, and subtly integrates subtle cultural references shared by the Wurundjeri Elders throughout the design process. The broad acceptance and excitement of patrons navigating the facility is supported by the logical and intuitive signage strategy which is testament to the intelligence and experience brought to the process by the Diadem team.”

  • Brett Diprose – Associate Principal, Warren and Mahoney


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