Project Print Management wraps a gymnasium's exterior to create an oasis for learning and play.
The courtyard welcoming children, parents, and teachers to the entrance of William Morris Primary School in the London Borough of Merton once resembled a warehouse building, with a large, uninviting red brick wall – the gymnasium – as the main focal point. Most local residents didn’t even know the grade school existed. Now, however, thanks to UK’s Project Print Management (PPM, www.projectprintmanagement.co.uk), the courtyard resembles an “oasis” for visitors to meet, learn, and play in an approachable environment.
The William Morris Primary School is named after the famous designer and writer who had a workshop in Merton Abbey Mills. He was famous for his floral repeat patterns in fabric and wallpaper designs in the late 19th century. To pay homage to the designer and the school namesake, Justin Murray of PPM decided to cover the gym building with a giant William Morris print.
Design agency Nigel Abbey Design Consultants based in Thames Dittion, provided the image files to PPM; Murray then modified the files “to ensure the best possible color from the poor file, given the overall size,” he says. A full-size sample of the print was then output and given to the school to sign off on the print, color, quality, and material.
The material chosen for the three-sided gym wrap was Multiplanel Alupanel aluminum composite panels. “Aluminum composite [offers] longevity … and ease to work with on site,” says Murray. The design was then printed, using an Inca Spyder V UV flatbed with Fujifilm Sericol inks, totaling 656 square feet of material and taking three days to complete.
For finishing, PPM used an anti-graffiti laminate because “panels are in a playground and children will be getting [their] muddy little hands on it,” says Murray.
The panels were installed via affixing to a lattice of timber battens. Once the panels had been installed, a self-adhesive cut vinyl was applied with the school’s name.
The finishing touch, however, was the inner courtyard, remodeled by laying colored artificial grass in a William Morris-inspired pattern to resemble an oasis in the middle of a sandy desert, and concrete benches were placed throughout. “As you can see in the photos, the colorful flooring brightens the area up which complements the digitally printed aluminum composite panel cladding installed by PPM,” says Murray on his blog.