THE DEVELOPMENT The Sandhurst Block is being regenerated by the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company (WBRC) – a joint venture between Taylor Wimpey and Dorchester Regeneration. The site will also be home to a new drive-in cinema.
The Block is pivotal to the four-year development of a new town centre which also includes vibrant spaces for entertainment, shopping, health, creative workspaces, and a leisure centre.
THE BRIEF Following an open call, a design by architect and designer Shiraaz Ali was chosen to dress the façade of the former main battalion building in the new town centre, creating a giant art installation.
The winning design includes a vertical garden on the central section of the block, sandwiched between two giant building wraps. Additionally, the two wings of the building would be wrapped, and printed site hoardings would run around the perimeter of the site to form a ‘secret garden’.
Finally, we were asked to precisely print and install panels in 54 specific window locations featuring unique designs created by the local community.
THE SOLUTION Embrace were enlisted to plan, print and install building wraps that bookend the green living wall. In the central zone to the front of the building are ten 18 m2 & two 12m2 PVC-free wraps attached using Keder rail systems. We used 300 m of aluminium rail for the frames and ten arched single piece boards to ensure no visible joins were visible interrupting the creative design.
On the left and right wings of the building are a pair of bespoke wire frames accommodating two of the UK’s largest digitally printed PVC-free building wraps – both measuring 400 m2 each. For the wire mesh system we had 84 bespoke brackets made to push the banner back away from the drainpipes and ensure the corners had maximum strength and durability. This part of the installation alone used 100 eyebolts around the perimeters, 250m of wire and the print of 1,000 m2 on our unique pvc-free substrate.
Using a cherry picker for installation, the 54 window bays were dressed by Embrace with forty-four 1.8 m2 and ten 4 m2 digitally printed ACM panels, each with unique designs.
Finally, to complement the installation 100 linear metre of printed ACM cladding at 2.4m high was used to cover the front site hoarding.
The Project Lead at WBRC James Child wanted to deliver a design that everyone could be proud of, and that local people had helped create. He comments:
Our vision for the town centre is to create a bold and inviting destination that welcomes innovation and inclusion and embraces its local heritage and natural environment, which is reflected in full in Shiraaz Ali’s artistic concept and designs for the Sandhurst Block façade.
The project was delivered on time and to budget and the giant art installation can now be seen celebrating generations of the future, nature, and community.