Detroit, MI

DMC Heart Hospital

Billing itself as “The New Heart of Detroit,” this facility is the first new hospital to be opened in Detroit in a generation. Designed to consolidate all DMC cardiac services in one location, it’s the centerpiece of a revitalized DMC campus and brand.

Prior to its opening, cardiac services were spread across DMC’s 16-block urban campus. The signage is designed simply to connect people to this new location, the final step in a far-reaching campaign to build awareness and promote DMC as a national leader in cardiac care.

Throughout the process, we worked closely with DMC administration, marketing, facilities and clinical staff to develop a simplified approach for direction giving. Because this new facility is so critical to the City of Detroit and the DMC, the impulse to promote, rather than direct, was discussed multiple times during the design process. It was important for Corbin Design to advocate for the visitors’ need to find their way quickly and efficiently while in the building: we emphasized the separation of wayfinding information from promotional communications wherever possible. Together, we determined that the one appropriate place to integrate both is on the kiosk in the main lobby.

  • Signage supports intuitive architecture at the main entrance, and throughout the south side of the DMC campus. Simple, visible messages on vehicular guide signs give drivers the ability to make decisions quickly.
  • An attached parking garage anchors the south side of the DMC campus, and features new parking logic for the campus: identified by letters, differentiating parking is a key piece of information for first time visitors.
  • The main lobby includes an information kiosk and simple, visible signage to direct and inform. All interior signage is designed for ADA compliance: legibility, contrast, scale and location. Throughout the hospital, interior signage supports the utility of each space, functioning quietly in the background.

The Heart Hospital wayfinding plan is the first to be implemented on this campus, and has set the standard for a completely new exterior campus wayfinding signage master plan.

The Corbin Design team presented a thoughtful approach to reengineer the wayfinding systems for the Detroit Medical Center’s Detroit campuses. They listened to the campus stakeholders and were able to get consensus to implement a simple and understandable system that will be a great customer satisfier.

- Senior Project Manager, DMC Heart Hospital