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With a total of 105,000 m2 of floor space, Whitewater is the largest retail complex in Ireland outside Dublin. The development, owned by Ballymore Properties and opened in April 2006, comprises a 32,000 m2 shopping mall, 84 residential units, a 6-screen Cineplex, 1,300 m2 of commercial office space and parking for 1,700 cars.


fwdesign was an integral part of the five-strong agency collaboration, involved in defining the vision at an early stage in the development. It was our responsibility to ensure that the chosen branding concept – a pebble with white logotype and dropped shadow – could be successfully interpreted on 3D signage, integrating it into the fabric of the building and retaining the subtlety and sophistication of the 2D identity. We worked closely with Interior architects, Benoy, to ensure that the information system was integrated into the building architecture and used the same materials and finishes.

Every shopping centre development of this size needs an external beacon to match. Our Whitewater ‘hero’ sign, located at the main entrance, is 3.5m high. The pebble logo was created from a jigsaw of solid stone, which ‘floated’ off the curved surface of the building. The type was then added using a combination of ‘embossed’ stone lettering and ‘debossed’ handcarving, to create the effect of white type and a drop-shadow. Other lower-spec but larger signs around the building use high quality digital prints on giant lightboxes, with bold orange hoops increasing their standout.


Within eight months of opening Whitewater had won a prestigious Irish property industry award and British Council of Shopping Centres’ Gold Award for Best In-Town Retail Scheme for 2006.


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