The town of Fort Mill in South Carolina has a rich history, closely tied to the textile industry. The town grew quickly in the late 19th century, largely due to booming textile mills. While the peak of the mills has passed, the area continues to grow, as an extension of the larger city of Charlotte.
Kingsley Town Center, a mixed-use development in Fort Mill, has multiple corporate headquarters and is a hub for this community growth. The large 80 acre property is home to offices, retail and dining establishments, a hotel, and residential units. ClearSpring Development, the developer for this project, engaged 505 Design to develop a vision for the property and tell the history of Fort Mill throughout the site.
ClearSpring Development has roots in the textile industry as well. The family owned real estate company was born out of the former giant textile company, Springfield Industries. 505Design worked together with a family archivist and gathered old photos, documents, and a textile pattern collection developed through the decades.
A series of identity and wayfinding elements were designed that pull from the historical narrative and visuals, while utilizing modern day fabrication methods. Interpretive panels tell stories of the textile mills. Painted building murals and graphics, laser-cut patterning, and architectural details such as brick-coursing and paving, use woven graphic textures and motifs.
In a nod to the industrial past, wayfinding signs and elements have an industrial aesthetic and incorporate textile inspired patterning. Located at the heart of the development, a reclaimed corten steel smoke stack serves as a landmark and beacon. The smoke stack was originally intended for a factory in the middle east and was reclaimed from an Alabama scrap yard. All of these elements contribute to overall placemaking for the development and a rich visual experience for residents, workers and visitors.
Location: Fort Mill, South Carolina
Designer: 505 design
Images: 505 design