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Visitor navigation system Waldkirch

  • Client

    City of Waldkirch

  • Task

    Conception and implementation of a new visitor and parking navigation system in the city centre of Waldkirch

  • Project period

    September 2016 until June 2017

An integral navigation system for the organ city of Waldkirch

It is not only international organ building enthusiasts who will now find it even easier to find their way around Waldkirch - locals and day-trippers will also benefit from the new visitor navigation system. Since this summer, 9 signposts, 7 pillars with comprehensive location information and 18 signposts have been guiding visitors from the railway station and the central car parks along interesting routes to the town's most important tourist destinations.

The new parking navigation system in Waldkirch.

The large district town of Waldkirch has a lot to offer. Nestled in the Elz Valley in the south-western Black Forest, about 16 kilometres north-east of Freiburg im Breisgau, it is a popular tourist destination as well as a location for numerous small and medium-sized enterprises. With 21,000 inhabitants, it is the second largest town in the district of Emmendingen. For 200 years, the town's name has stood for outstanding craftsmanship worldwide and it is still an international centre for organ building. Every three years, organ building enthusiasts from all over Germany and the world travel to Waldkirch for the International Organ Festival. In the Elztal Museum and the town archives, culturally interested visitors can learn all about the history of the town and organ building. But Waldkirch is more than music and culture. The Nature Adventure Park offers a varied programme for the whole family, from adventure mini-golf and pedal boating on the Stadtrainsee lake to a visit to the Black Forest Zoo and the treetop trail with Europe's longest tube slide.

Over the last 30 years, a confusing forest of signs for pedestrians and car drivers has developed from many different signage elements for car parks, sights, hotels and restaurants. As part of the "Location Marketing Offensive" of the Waldkirch town marketing department, a catalogue of measures for the future development of the town was drawn up in 2016. The aim of the town development was to present Waldkirch as a town of short distances and to guide visitors to all important tourist destinations in the town centre. In this context, the forest of signs was also to be replaced by a uniform and clear pedestrian and parking navigation system. Above all, the new system should also be able to coordinate the flow of visitors to the major events "Organ Festival 2017" and "Heimattage Baden-Württemberg 2018".

Draft concept for the new visitor navigation system for Waldkirch.

The company MAQNIFY from Emmendingen was commissioned with the conception and implementation of the new visitor navigation system. In a first step, the pedestrian sources and most important walking routes in the town were identified. In order to present Waldkirch as a town of short distances and to invite visitors to explore the town on their own, it was important not to rely on a rigid route navigation system, but rather on various information points and signposts in the town area. In addition to signposting, information pillars were also created at railway stations and car parks to inform arriving visitors in several languages about what Waldkirch has to offer.

MAQNIFY was also responsible for the implementation of the design work to align the pillars and information signs with the new corporate design of the town. The stylistically suggested organ pipes in the Waldkirch logo were transferred to the steles in such a way that they create a recognition value and thus integrate well into the townscape. All the steles are equipped with a city map specially designed for the town of Waldkirch and individual pictograms.

The steles and signs were installed by the company Kurt Ries GmbH from Bruchsal. Thanks to the modular, customisable system, individual elements can be replaced at any time if changes are necessary or if damage is caused by vandalism. An anti-graffiti paint additionally protects the stelae from graffiti. Subsequent addition of targets in a uniform design is possible without any problems. In the near future, for example, the system will be extended to the surrounding districts and supplemented by a hotel and restaurant signage system. Another advantage becomes apparent during installation. The ground sockets make it possible to erect the stelae in just a few minutes. Thus, in June 2017, all the steles could be installed within one day. The town of Waldkirch and MAQNIFY are enthusiastic about the implementation. The visitors accept the new system very well and like to use it to find their way around the city. The project is a complete success and confirms once again how important urban development is.

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