Photography by Lara Swimmer. (photo: Lara Swimmer)
Photography by Lara Swimmer.
24.03.2016, 09:48

Master Planning with Easter Eggs

Architecture & Interiors, FM Magazine

A long-standing client contacted Michael Courtney of Michael Courtney Design (MCD) with an unusual new project.

The client’s Fortune 100 technology company had begun designing and building a “neighborhood” (campus) in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Three new buildings were under construction, with more planned to house an eventual workforce of 27,000 new employees in a 30 square block area.


Designing a Master Plan with Easter Eggs

MCD’s first assignment was to develop a Wayfinding Master Plan to guide employees and visitors to the new buildings and retail infrastructure (restaurants, healthcare facilities, coffee shops).

The client, however, expressed two requirements:

(1) the company’s name and logo should not be used anywhere in the graphics; and

(2) “Easter Eggs” and/or delightful and interesting images and ideas should be available for employees to discover in surprising places.


Guide, Direct and Inform

The neighborhood’s urban landscape varies with new and old buildings.

MCD designed a series of directories to place in plazas and public spaces around the company’s neighborhood to help visitors and employees from all over the world find their way.

For ease of recognition and continuity across all languages, MCD recommended a consistent, cohesive design with a contemporary look and feel.

Each Directory has three panels mounted to the Directory mast.

The top panel holds directional information; center panel contains a neighborhood map and retail directory; and lower panel has the Easter Eggs – colorful photos of bicycles, crayons, bouncy balls, cranberries and more, a subtle reference to items you might buy online from this company.

With 14 buildings built or under construction and more in the pipeline, MCD used this expandable theme for new Directories as the company’s neighborhood grows.

Project Information:

  • Location: Seattle
  • Client: Undisclosed
  • Project Area: 30 square blocks
  • Open Date: Ongoing
  • Design: Michael Courtney Design
  • Fabrication: Rainier Industries



article Rating


A family house near Ulm demonstrates convincingly that sustainable buildings can also be strikingly beautiful. Photograph: Zooey Braun, Stuttgart, Germany. (photo: Zooey Braun)
Professor Werner Sobek  - 07.04.2014, 08:31

Sustainable Architecture for the 21st Century

Mies van der Rohe Chair in Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and multi-award winning architect, Professor Werner Sobek, discusses the influence of sustainability on design.

Photograph: Matthew Joseph. (photo: Matthew Joseph)
RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors)  - 22.03.2016, 14:12

Pretty as a Picture

A London sewage system has been crowned one of Britain’s best-looking pieces of infrastructure after winning first prize in the RICS National Infrastructure Photography Competition.

 (photo: Confida FM)
Confida FM  - 02.06.2017, 17:12

New Beginnings for Ayrshire FM Business

The launch of Confida FM promises a bright new future for a wife and husband management team - and the facilities management industry in Scotland...and beyond.

 (photo: WPS Parking Systems BV)
WPS Parking Systems BV  - 15.03.2017, 14:04

Next-generation Parking Technology for Celtic Manor

WPS, one of the UK’s leading parking equipment manufacturers, has won a second contract to provide its ParkAdvance™ technology at the prestigious Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

 (photo: Infomill Ltd)
Infomill Ltd  - 09.01.2017, 12:22

New Version of PartsArena Pro App

Heating engineers across the UK will enjoy a new, updated version of PartsArena Pro from January 2017 as creator, Infomill rolls out its latest improvements to the leading source of heating parts...

Crocus on site. (photo: Bodet Ltd.)
Bodet Ltd  - 22.09.2016, 20:30

Nursery and Garden Produce Staff Go Biometric

Leading nursery and online garden produce retailer Crocus have just installed the very latest Bodet interactive time and attendance system, to provide accurate and reliable staff attendance data...