Ushering a fashion center into the 21st century.

Townsend Center in San Francisco is one of the original anchor properties of the SOMA neighborhood in San Francisco, starting as a fashion mart in the 1980s, an event venue in the 1990s and 2000s, and ultimately a tech hub for some of the most successful tech companies like Zynga and Airbnb. To continue to usher the building into the 21st century and beyond, Volume was tasked with designing a vibrant graphic language and a robust wayfinding system for the labyrinthine floor plan.

Drawing inspiration from the building’s architectural intricacies and rich history, the graphic language is first inspired by the distinctive concrete half-circles adorning the exterior. This visual detail provides the foundation for a captivating pattern that also references the building’s fashion heritage. To push the idea further, we incorporated a folded-fabric motif that intertwines with the pattern and provides a distinct format for the wayfinding signage, infusing the space with a harmonious blend of style and utility.

Initially, as one moves through the building, the wayfinding signage utilizes the concrete columns for a distinct, site-specific form factor. As one proceeds deeper into the Amenities Center, the signage evolves to the folded-fabric format attached to various walls. A custom family of icons supplements the wayfinding system for further clarity.

The spacious walls of the Amenities Center allow for the creative application of large-scale supergraphics.


We've had the pleasure of collaborating with the Volume team across several projects and are consistently impressed with their unique focus on understanding the people who will use the space. Their expertise lies in crafting compelling narratives for projects, seamlessly translating them into vibrant environments. The team’s dedication and attention to detail consistently leads to designs that exceed expectations, setting Volume apart and making them a valued creative partner for Beacon.

Simon Yeo, Director of Brand, Beacon Capital