SES Marrickville

Marrickville Council



  • Client:
  • Completion:
    October 2015


In 2005, as part of Council’s Major Projects program, it was identified that the current building and facilities housing the local State Emergency Services (SES) headquarters – built in the 1920s at 209 Livingstone Road, Marrickville – were no longer suitable. Council needed to find a new suitable location for the operation.

BrandCulture were approached by Marrickville Council to assist in the interpretive signage for the new SES facility at 3–17 Railway Road, Sydenham. The site has a poignant history and was only available due to the demolition of a large residential area when Sydney Airport’s third runway was built in 1995.

The design team had already created a silhouette of one of the original terrace houses on the west façade of the building, and referenced the property boundaries with different plantings through the landscape. BrandCulture took up this theme and tracked down the heritage architects responsible for photographing the streets prior to their demolition.

The result was a subtle façade graphic that remembers the now disappeared houses that once stood here. The ghost façades are supported by the original street numbers set within the garden beds, designed to be discovered by pedestrians on this busy thoroughfare. Finally a series of interpretive panels set behind the heritage listed remnants of the fences tells the story of the community’s bygone era.


Marrickville Council required interpretive and external signage along with environmental graphics for the new SES centre at Sydenham. The project was to have strong ties to the physical location of the new building and help elevate the SES brand.


The reinstatement of the street numbers provides a historic context for the site that is easily accessible to the public. The numbers also provide context for both the interpretive graphic on the building facade, and the landscaping scheme. The numbers are negative cut from aluminium plates, which are embedded, in the garden bed. Plantings are encouraged to grow through the numbers symbolising new life and change whilst always remembering the past.


Due to the low resolution of the original terrace house photograph, BrandCulture had to meticulously re-create the image using vector illustration. Once the desired image was created, a vertical ‘screen’ was devised to help soften the edges and add dimension to the heritage graphic.

To help elevate the brand experience BrandCulture decided to stick to a singular colour for the façade graphic, the SES orange. This bold statement of colour helps create and enforce brand recognition whilst complimenting the architectural finishes of the building.


Each interpretive plaque was finished in an anti-graffiti film, which helps maintain the longevity of the signage and eliminates the need to constantly re-print the graphic panels should they be vandalised.

The seclusion graphics on all glazing surfaces is a sustainable polyester based material that is optically clear and has a ‘hard’ surface. Blue inks were printed/backed on using Ultra Violet (UV) heat lamps. This process of transferring images to film does not use solvents and the biodegradable polyester film is more environmentally friendly over using PVC-based vinyls.

We track sustainability three ways: working efficiently whilst being conscious of our carbon footprint at every opportunity, specifying sustainable materials in addition to maintaining ethical work practices in the production of our branded environments and, finally, creating designs that can last for years; ideally the duration of the interior fit out.



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