Old Dominion University Real Estate Foundation


Norfolk, Virginia

Completion Date



The Old Dominion University Real Estate Foundation approached Work Program Architects to design a wayfinding system to attract more pedestrian and vehicular traffic to what was then called University Village. The restaurant and retail establishments were struggling to attract customers when school was not in session, and ODU wanted the Village to be more integrated with the surrounding neighborhoods.

After interviewing residents, business owners and stakeholders, the design project quickly turned into a rebranding effort. In Norfolk, people often talk about where they are going by referring to the street name. This area was no different, and as often happens, the new brand was developed to reflect the obvious choice of the street name — Monarch Way. A bright color palette and iconography was developed to establish the area as a place for arts, dining and entertainment.

Once the rebranding was complete, the signage design began by evaluating gateways, signage and wayfinding, storefront signage, streetscape vibrancy, parking garages and walking paths from the perspective of the first-time visitor. A system of pedestrian wayfinding signs, corridor signs, directories, and vehicle-oriented signage was sketched, designed, fabricated and installed.