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BURRI Pedestrian guidance systems

The modular guidance system for the ‘readable city’.

BURRI's signposting system developed by Werner Egli is a modular advancement of BURRI's Soleil poster panel system. The signage stands for Zurich's signposting system represent a modular further development of the original. The printed panels can be divided up as required and added to and replaced without tools. The new digital printing technique with an anti-graffiti surface is equally an innovation for signage systems. The stands were given standard foundations by the civil engineering office. They thus comply with the high requirements for urban furnishings. The design, material and production process are specifically suited to the extreme requirements of public spaces. Recognisability, functionality, flexibility and clarity of content and graphic information are major requirements when it comes to orientation in the city.


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Competencies deployed in development: 
Design and prototyping
Development and construction
Small volume development and production

Specifications and standards as an opportunity

All user groups considered

Especially developed for Zurich, their first signposting system had to take an enormous amount of specifications, requirements and standards into account. An advisory group of experts from various disciplines defined the criteria in advance. These criteria were then implemented by the BURRI designers. This achieved, for example, a disability-friendly implementation with non-reflective surfaces, tactile contours for structures and graphics and stands positioned where they are easy for wheelchair users to find in urban spaces that are often complex and confusing. The orientation of the maps has been adjusted to suit the viewer's particular point of view. A further important requirement is the modularity of the system. If elements need to be extended at a later date, or if graphics need to be updated, they need to be easy to replace. Text was added to the individual panels using a new printing technique and an anti-graffiti coating was then added.

Extensive support from advisory group

Authorities, urban planners, signage designers and architects

Zurich's first signposting system for pedestrians is a pilot project of the City of Zurich's civil engineering office. Typical of the complexity at project management level is the coordination required between various authorities, experts and suppliers: Oerlikon location marketing, the district association, SBB Swiss railways, the local police force, the Swiss disabled persons association, the urban planning office and signage designers, graphic artists and architects. BURRI assured all central contacts and participants that the numerous specifications and inputs would ultimately be realised, produced and installed in place in an inexpensive modular system with a capacity for extension.

Signage with a modular system

Intelligent details make all the difference

In this pilot project, BURRI worked with the experts to develop a modular structure that can be adjusted to suit changes in requirements. Based on BURRI's proven Soleil poster panel system, the signage designer Werner Egli developed for this pilot project a modular structure that can fit the changeable requirements. The client's criteria for sustainability, such as durability and vandalism-resistance, could be implemented with particular efficiency. The printed panels can be divided up as required and added to or replaced without tools. The developer's work also included a special digital printing technique with anti-graffiti coating.

The entire service chain under control

Prototype construction, series production, installation

In the call for tenders for the pilot project, a partner was required who could scale the low-volume production of the pilot phase to produce an attractive cost-benefit ratio in a short period of time. BURRI was ultimately awarded the contract with the most long-term economic offer. Thanks to its many years of experience with the complex requirements of public spaces, BURRI could provide assurances that usability, operational reliability, environmental compatibility and durability would be preserved throughout the entire life cycle. Increasing requirements for system safety are taken into account, as is the full implementation of the disabled people's equality act. Profitability is always the result of all these factors.