Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Give us a sign … no, cancel that.

Someone once said that the sign of a great building was a lack of signs. Someone should mention that to Ian Athfield so he can go back and do a clean-up of the New Dowse in Lower Hutt. It’s not just the number of signs but what they are telling you to do. First up is “Main Entrance ->” in bright pink and carefully placed across what you think is the way in. The arrow points you around the corner to what can only be described as a hidden front door. On that door are the usual rash of taped notices reminding people of stuff like the shop is having a closing-down sale and just inside the door there’s a batch of don’t-do signs, no alcohol etc. The most unpromising pair, from an architectural point of view, well art museum architecture anyway, is one on an interior glass door that says “Galleries” (hey thanks for that, we were wondering) and another that, with the aid of a pictogram of a figure climbing stairs, “Upstairs Galleries”. In all we counted over 50 signs which were a mix of taped sheets of paper and the the official signage system, colour-coded on perspex. If you're off to the New Dowse, go early, and give yourself time, there’s a lot to read, .