Navigation for Marina Tsvetaeva house museum

• OverviewProcess
to develop navigation for an old house with a memorial apartment.

A 19th century apartment house is located at Borisoglebsky Pereulok, 6. From 1913 to 1923, one of the apartments in the house was occupied by Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian poet, novelist and translator. To celebrate Tsvetaeva’s 125th birthday, the house is being renovated and a new navigation system created at the studio is being installed.

Guests in the house

Movement around the house is organized around staircases. First, guests need to go downstairs to purchase tickets, then go up to the first or second floor to visit exhibition halls and the apartment. Despite the complexity of the route, there are few navigation signs which helps keep the space uncluttered. The contents of the signs are also simple: the apartment is upstairs, tickets are downstairs.

tsvetaeva navigation pano 01
Arrows echo the movement of guests in the house
Then upstairs
First downstairs
First downstairs, then upstairs

Exhibition halls have the same numbers as the apartments in which they are located. A brief historical reference next to each of them introduces guests to its occupants.

Stories make it clear that Tsvetaeva did not occupy the entire house

Most of the signs are made of stone. They have a pleasant volume and a barely noticeable texture rhyming with the appearance of the house.

tsvetaeva navigation signs

Memorial apartment

The museum’s primary exhibit is located in apartment 3 where the poet used to live. Inside, the apartment replicates the 1910s interior which means there are no navigation signs and guests have to rely on an introduction and a volumetric floor plan by the entrance.

tsvetaeva navigation pano 02
Guests study the floor plan without interfering with people coming in and exiting
Entrance to the apartment
The introduction and the plan are located in front of the staircase
Guests study the floor plan without interfering with people coming in and exiting

Tsvetaeva was right to call her apartment “a pile of rooms.” To help visitors navigate the complex space, each area is represented by a bright and memorable object from its furnishings.

tsvetaeva navigation map

Pleasant details

While exploring the house, guests are bound to end up at the back stairs where the story of the house continues.

tsvetaeva navigation stairs

Service areas are locked and subtly marked with small door handle signs that are inconspicuous and don’t ruin the impression of the exhibition.

tsvetaeva navigation doors
The text on the sign can only be read up close

tsvetaeva navigation final

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Navigation  Graphic design  Environmental design  Exhibitions  Tsvetaeva Museum  Non-commercial