Ruedi Baur designed the wayfinding and signage system for the Centre Pompidou in Metz and chose Irma by Typotheque, a tightly spaced, caps-only geometric sans for display applications, as the lead typeface. It works great in 3-D reversed out of light grey aluminum with colorfully painted sides, meant to be “read against the background of the sky”. The very tight spacing and all-caps setting feels appropriate there. I am not entirely sure about the grey type printed on the surface of the signs though. The text feels more cramped than in the cut-out lines, not very readable from a distant angle or in passing.
This month, the second stage of an innovative trilingual wayfaring system to guide those visitors around the city was launched. Its second and definitive phase was unveiled on November 12. Drawing on Metz’s heritage in the steel industry, Baur designed a sign system in aluminium cut by water jet. This technique produces large format signs in a single piece without any soldering marks. White letters are positioned between two horizontal bars, recalling musical notation. The resulting filigree effect is designd to be read against a background of sky or stone.
The most technically challenging part of the project, according to Baur, will be launched in January – a system of street signs with mobile letters suspended between buildings on cables in the historic Coeur de Ville (mock-up shown above). Also to come in January will be a series of awnings for the town’s covered market (see above). At just 90 minutes from Paris by TGV, either to visit the Centre Pompidou-Metz or to explore the city with Baur’s sign system, Metz ‘vaut le detour’ (it’s worth the trip). Creative team: Ruedi Baur, Stephanie Brabant, Eva Kubinyi, Claudia Leuchs, David Thomazeau, Thibault Fourrier.