Wayfinding & identity for a ‘vertical campus’

The Economic Studies building on the Fontys campus in Eindhoven has been completely renovated, prepared for new learning concepts, and furnished in line with new work methods. Together with Mecanoo architects, SILO developed an integrated identity and signposting plan, aiming for more interaction between the building and its users.


The R3 building on the Fontys campus was dark, closed, and turned inward. A major renovation and refurbishment upgraded the building, which has become the new access gate to the entire campus. The building functions as a link between campus and city, a link between the city of Eindhoven and the campus Rachelsmolen.

Mecanoo concept ‘Vertical Campus’ Fontys R3

The ‘vertical campus’ principle was developed in order to re-divide the building in line with the various usage needs. This led to classification at the level of social interaction according to individual focus: Meeting (GF), Research (level 1), Teamwork (level 2), and Individual study (level 3).

The concept of Mecanoo breaks open the building as it would a closed wall, fills it up with a transparent facade, creating an open and accessible gate to the campus, and making education visible from outside.


Form methodology for wayfinding and signage


SILO worked together with Mecanoo to provide the building with more individuality, and with the aim of achieving more interaction between building and user. An ambitious plan was developed, making the building more attractive to its users, both at the emotional and at the functional level.

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classroom signage

Transparent graphic signposting with suitable pictographs enables good and fast navigation through the building. Various illustrations on the topic of ‘economy’ have been incorporated in 38 meeting rooms. The transparent nature of the architecture makes these illustrations visible from many locations.

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Individual work spaces

Other examples of illustrative applications focused on interaction are the ‘social carpet’ and the ‘social tribune’ in the central hall. SILO transformed the central coffee bar into an icon by applying a 3D waffle shape with typographic system. Depending on the point of view, you can read either the word ‘food’ or the word ‘drinks’.


Lay out coffee bar


Waffle structure with signage

In the central corridor on the ground floor the ‘social carpet’ is located. The entire zone is functioning as a meeting place. The design is solid core incorporated into the linoleum.


Lay out ‘Social Carpet’


Together with Mecanoo, SILO provided the strategy, concepting, development into a preliminary and final design, materialization, advice, support, and aftercare for production and realization.


Library graphics



  • Client
    Fontys Hogescholen
  • Year
  • Oppervlakte
    8.000 m2
  • Awards
    Gold - European Design Awards 2015
  • Fotografie
    SILO/Mecanoo architecten

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