District of Squamish
Squamish, British Columbia
Squamish is a growing town, buzzing with everything outdoors – from sailboarding to extreme climbing. It is also the gateway to the world’s most popular ski resort. People needed to know how to get around, and where they could rest, eat and shop. In a project spanning three years, Ion has helped define the youthful, exuberant nature of the community and the personality of the wayfinding for the District, while honouring the strong respect for the environment and rich heritage of the Stawamus Nation. Phase one has been installed primarily Downtown with four more phases over four years to link together the entire community under the new system.
From mountain faces to trees and water – there is a severe geometry and angular quality to the West Coast. Organic matter interfaces with environmental elements in unique ways with trees wrapping roots around cliffs, climbers grappling extreme vertical surfaces and even flags bending in the unpredictable wind. Nothing is flat and splashes of colour are everywhere. Conveying this character, the wayfinding uses modular sheets of shaped steel to create dimension, wood to reflect the natural textures of the environment and a vivid colour system to add energy and unity.
Through a deep study of human movement through the area, both urban and suburban, as well as interviews and historical and competitive research, Ion created a detailed audit of all aspects of major and local roadways, facilities, parks and attractions. Workshops were held to gain key stakeholder input into the content, structure and design of the program.