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Tripler Army Medical Center

Honolulu, HI

When the U.S. Army enlisted Corbin Design for this project, the mission was simple—make it easier for visitors to navigate the largest military hospital in the Pacific, while making the hospital look less like a military facility. The implications were huge—800,000 people are eligible for care at Tripler, which has an area of responsibility that covers more than half of the earth’s surface.

Wayfinding at the sprawling two-million-square-foot facility is complicated by the fact that there are two main entrances, an oceanside entry into the first level and a mountainside entry on level four. Our designers eased the possible confusion by developing a set of “mountainside” and “oceanside” graphics to differentiate the two.

The graphic style for the signs reflects the local culture, particularly a Polynesian art form known as tapa. Natural materials including rattan were used to frame the main directory and elevator directories. The bright teals and emeralds used in the signage and symbols were inspired by the lush landscape.

The new system was so well-received that an interior designer assigned to refurbish the facility borrowed colors from Corbin Design’s signage palette when choosing new fabrics and wall coverings.