Outdoor Advertising

Celebrating creative building wraps

by Rob Fletcher | 20/02/2024
Celebrating creative building wraps

One of the largest types of print application, Rob Fletcher pays tribute to companies working with building wraps and showcases some of the most eye-catching and creative projects in this market.

Achieving high quality print in large pieces of work is no easy feat. Increasing the size of an image to cover a large area can often prove troublesome, with print service providers (PSPs) having to be clever in the way that they work to ensure the image still looks the part when printed at a larger scale.

When it comes to building wraps, the sheer size of these printed applications and the fact that they are constantly subject to the elements, the task is trickier for PSPs. This makes what are already hugely impressive prints event more extraordinary, and those companies that both create and install these applications should be commended.

Here, FESPA.com celebrates some of the most inspiring work from this sector, paying tribute to companies around the print world.

Making an impression

First up is UK-based Embrace Building Wraps, which, as its name may suggest, is a specialist in this line of work. A regular in the FESPA Top 20 series, Embrace Building Wraps produces large-scale applications for use in a range of locations, with its wraps often used to cover up work that is taking place in the building.

Caption: Embrace Building Wraps often produces printed work to cover up construction work. 

One excellent example of this is a recent project at Sloane Street, which is located in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The address is home to two Victorian townhouses, which were formally the base of the Peruvian Embassy in London.

Development work has been taking place to restore and retain the barley twist chimneys and carved brickwork of the frontage, while remodelling work is also taking place on the inside, ready for the site to provide luxury retail, a restaurant and premium office space from 2025.

“Our creative team delivered with a CGI trompe l’oeil design, faithfully recreating the Victorian façade in order to blend straight back into the existing streetscape,” Embrace said. “On the lower level the print design included a canopy of carefully selected seasonal plants cascading on to the stylish and subtle branding below at street level.

“We covered the main access scaffold with a giant building wrap installed using one of our face-fixed plus offset frame systems, complete with edge protection. For the site hoarding we installed printed durable ACP panels embellished with details of the property, Cadogan and a QR code linking to further details of the property.”

Embrace does not always replicate the building underneath in its wraps; with some clients instead opting for a more brand-heavy approach. One example of this is Merry Hill Shopping Centre near Birmingham, which recently underwent major works with a new-look long-term exterior cladding to the majority of the building façade.

Caption: Embrace Building Wraps works with partners to improve brand recognition. 

Covering up construction work, Embrace used a range of building wrap techniques. In total, 15 defunct illuminated light panels across the upper level of the bus station were covered individually, while the glazed atrium above a main entrance was wrapped using a colour-printed one-way file to allow light to still flood into the centre. In addition, a glazed curtain to the rear spans nine individual faces and measures 750sq m.

“By working closely with the centre and their architects we have been able to find neat solutions that met all of the requirements entirely,” Embrace managing director Greg Forster said. “The creative design is so bright; the colours really pop out and the elevation has been completely transformed.”

Large scale success

Another company in this area is MacroArt, which, like Embrace, specialises in large-format work, often working with its customers to cover up construction work being carried out on buildings. A separate part of MacroArt’s offering is large scale branding, while the company also creates huge prints for installation on the side of buildings for decorative purposes.

One such project took place last year, with MacroArt teaming up with Mtec Fine Art as part of the 12th Edition of London's Sculpture in the City project. This involved producing a huge mural for installation in Creechurch Lane in Aldgate, close to major London landmarks such as The Cheesegrater and The Gherkin.

Caption: MacroArt worked with artist Arturo Herrara on a large-scale art project.

Named ‘Untitled, 2020’, the artwork was created by artist Arturo Herrara and brought to life by MacroArt using its Durst 512R printer. The piece was printed using high-quality UV inks, all of which were sampled in MacroArt’s on-site studio before the final piece was put together. The actual mural measures nine metres of 21 metres and was printed onto self-adhesive vinyl before being installed by MacroArt’s team above London’s busy streets.

“We’re delighted with how this latest mural has been received,” MacroArt group account director Mike Hamling said. “The richness of the colours was paramount to this artwork’s success as well as the accuracy of the installation on what is a challenging site. Our team worked extremely hard to help make this a reality, and we’re very proud of the result.

“Bringing vibrant artwork into the heart of London as part of the latest launch for the long-running Sculpture in the City is a thrill for us.”

Manufacturers getting in on the act

Such is the impact of building wraps that manufacturers are also getting in on the act. Durst, whose technology supports other with this sort of work, utilised its own kit for a project with South Tyrolean artist Klaus Pobitzer. This involves producing artistic works inside and outside of the Durst headquarters in Brixen in Italy.

The first piece from this new collaboration is ‘Inside-Out’, which focuses on Durst staff, who the artist shows in large-format individual and group portraits, as well as technical details of the printing systems produced. The work has been installed on the outside of one of the buildings in Brixen, while after use, the hundreds of square meters of installations on the façade will be processed into recycled bags and auctioned off as unique pieces for a good cause.
 
Caption: Durst also linked up with artist South Tyrolean artist Klaus Pobitzer to create large, printed pieces for its headquarters.

“The Durst HQ is an iconic and futuristic building and testifies to the importance of the company in digital printing technology,” Pobitzer said. “But hardly anyone in the region actually knows what is behind the ‘world’s leading technology manufacturer’. Inside-Out reveals the secret and brings the company’s greatest assets, its employees and technology, to the outside world.”

Durst Group co-owner and CEO Christoph Gamper added: “We are delighted that we have been able to win over a great artist like Klaus Pobitzer for this collaboration. His large-scale installations in public spaces, human-computer interaction, design and architecture projects - all of these are also Durst Group-specific themes.”

To put it simply, the impressiveness of building wraps cannot be understated. These pieces of work not only look the part but offer several uses to the client, including the opportunity to promote their business on a larger scale and connect with consumers that otherwise may not have noticed their brand.

by Rob Fletcher Back to News

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