An innovative new Wayfinding Scheme will ensure that visitors returning to Brighton & Hove don’t miss out on discovering the city’s diverse North Laine shopping area.
Pavement artwork which reflects the diversity of the area’s independent shops and businesses guides visitors from Brighton Station to North Laine, giving them a choice of routes and helping them stay safe as they return to the city.
The £38,000 project has been funded by local developers.
The wayfinding scheme includes a series of colourful symbols or ‘glyphs’ designed to represent the variety of North Laine businesses. The symbols range from combs, scissors and bunting, to cocktail glasses, coffee cups and ice cream cones.
The glyphs can be found scattered on the pedestrian area outside the station before leading visitors down Queens Road to the quadrant and crossings at the junction of Gloucester Road and Frederick Place. Colourful crossing designs then draw visitors down to North Laine via Gloucester Road.
The crossings and quadrant floor design form 'Brighthelmstone Abstract' with patterns derived from the ‘1792 Terrier Map of the Brighton’ (which was then known as Brighthelmstone or Brighthemstone). This historic map shows the field arrangements that existed before North Laine was built upon and can still be seen in the street layout of today.
The designs were chosen by a panel following an open submission call-out.
Members of the panel, including representatives from North Laine Community Association, local creative industries and Brighton & Hove City Council, were looking for a high quality, original design which reflected the site’s cultural and natural heritage while remaining sympathetic to local businesses and residents.
Joint winners of the commission were the Millimetre Designer Fabricators, based in Portslade, project managed by designer Adam Harris, and Birmingham based artists Simon and Tom Bloor.
Simon & Tom’s work and projects explore the histories and fabric of the built environment and the associated dichotomy of creation through destruction. Their solo gallery exhibitions include 'The City is Where We’re Going Next' (Baltic, Gateshead, 2019), Urban Studies (The Gallery, De Montfort University, Leicester, 2016), Loose Parts (Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2013) and Hit and Miss (Modern Art Oxford, 2010).
In addition to gallery exhibitions, they have made temporary and permanent art projects for schools, town squares, playgrounds, historic buildings, canals, a zoo, the London Underground and redevelopment schemes.
Quirky and original
Donna Chisholm, assistant director for culture, tourism and sport said: “So many visitors arriving by train at Brighton Station make their way down Queens Road to the seafront and shopping area, completely missing out on the fantastic independent shops and businesses in North Laine.
“This scheme aims to address that problem, providing clear entrance points to these unique and diverse shopping streets, increasing footfall and ensuring that visitors and tourists don’t miss out on all the wonderful quirky and original shops and eateries that North Laine has to offer.”