Wayfinding & Placemaking

Ovolo Hotels are a global hospitality company providing guests with unique lifestyle hotels. Each of their properties features contemporary high-end interiors and integrates the very latest technology and amenities to appeal to the modern traveller. Expanding their unique offer within Australia, THERE was engaged to assist with their most recent Sydney acquisition, Ovolo Woolloomooloo, situated inside Finger Wharf, a huge heritage-listed timber export shed.

Commissioned by Ovolo to redesign the original cavernous space, HASSELL Sydney created a more compelling environment with multiple intimate and cosy spaces to engage visitors on a more personal level.

Our brief was to create a series of unique signage & placemaking features for different zones such as the central bar, bakery, communal dining space, pool room, library and varied function spaces - bringing the hotel's unique brand to life whilst providing a series of landmarks that could aid navigation. 

Rather than adopt a traditional signage approach, we were inspired by Ovolo’s spirited and playful brand essence to create a series of distinctly modern touchpoints to help better define the series of spaces. 

As well as naming the sub-brands, we were able to create a series of illuminated sculptural placemaking installations that provided a counterpoint to the hotel's heritage wharf setting, and utilised irreverent tone-of-voice copy to evoke a wry smile from visitors. These installations were designed to facilitate social media engagement for today’s smartphone-wielding generation of modern day travellers.

Within a few months of opening the remastered hotel has been a great success, jumping to an overall ranking of #11 out of 181 Sydney hotels in a recent independent review. Our work has also been featured widely across social-media, with the installations providing perfect insta-ready fodder for a tech-savvy clientele.

Photography by Steve Brown.

THERE came highly recommended by Hassell, and were a natural choice in our need to find local experts who would quickly understand our culture and DNA and as a result develop a unique and creative signage and branded collateral language for the Ovolo Brand - THERE certainly delivered just that. The key challenge was to create various internal destination zones. From the Cafe, Library zone through to the Pool Room, THERE managed to create fun and memorable place making elements to help enliven the space. Notably THERE captured Ovolo's unique brand positioning by integrating a cheeky, irreverent tone-of-voice, raising a wry smile from guests. The outcome speaks for itself - confirmed by fantastic feedback from guests and visitors. Aside from being attentive and responsive to our needs, we found the team at THERE to be fun and personable and we look forward to many more exciting projects.
Dirk Dalichau
Chief Operating Officer, Ovolo
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