Orbital Retail Park - Building Environments in Action
In March this year we were excited to launch a unique and all-encompassing service offering named Building Environments. This new service combines the strengths of each of Merson’s individual businesses to provide a combined offer that encompasses external architectural facades, signage schemes, interiors, digital display and point-of-sale – services that large clients would traditionally have to source separately and manage individually.

Today we want to share with you a recently completed piece of work that perfectly showcases the benefits that Building Environments can bring to large construction projects.

British Land, a valued key client of Merson Group, has recently upgraded six of its retail parks across the UK with a new theme, entitled ‘BluePrint’. This comprises a range of upgrades including parking, facilities and wayfinding, all following a distinct theme using complimentary blue tones. One of the upgraded retail parks, Orbital Shopping Park in Swindon is the project we want to showcase today. The Building Environments model is made possible by using the collective resources of the Merson Group Businesses, and by combining technical design expertise in cladding, all types of signage and lighting, with our implementation skills in each in these areas, meaning we can deliver all of these elements on any project. 

Following a growing number of successful projects for British Land, we were contracted to design, manufacture and install totem signs, fingerposts and facility signage for the upgraded site. Having previously worked with Portland Design to produce a signage family to fit with the new ‘BluePrint’ theme, we were able to engineer the most cost-effective approach into the design to ease the manufacture and installation phases. The project required a variety of signage types, with the fin-shaped GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) totem signs standing out as especially distinctive in appearance, providing a unique form of wayfinding and place-marking around the site.

In addition to signage, we supplied rainscreen cladding for an impressive large rounded building, which was built on the site with the purpose of housing the management suite, customer services, ATM machines and public toilets. The cladding used was CGL’s 1.5mm horizontal powder-coated curved and straight Traypanel using three different blue tones (RAL 5018, RAL 7036 & RAL 7047), which combined, created a dynamic surface, perfectly complimenting the interesting shape of the building. 

With signage needed for this building, we were able to advise on the type of design that would work best with the rainscreen cladding. Rainsceen cladding needs to be reinforced to support the signage used, and with this in mind we created and delivered a workable design for folded aluminium signage, which was successfully mounted onto the cladding to create an impressive look.

We know that the key to successful execution of a combined cladding and signage project such as this is the design interface between the two projects. Knowing exactly what surface the signage is being mounted onto helps in the development of the signage type, and by having involvement at every stage of the project we can deliver a cost effective project, with minimal risk and an impressive end result.

This project combined three areas of the business to result in a well-organised and effective solution for British Land and we look forward to working on many more projects of this nature in the future.