As part of a £110 million investment at their Tutbury factory, Nestle created a living wall that attractively screens the site with thousands of growing plants. Floating feature signage was constructed by Harrisons Signs supported by Applelec.
Consisting of built-up letters and the brand’s instantly recognisable bird’s nest logo in mirror polished stainless steel, the lettering was the simplest element in the project’s delivery. Despite being just over 1.75m in height and with fully fabricated back-trays, the brief required lettering to float on the wall without visible fixings. The requirement provided the biggest challenge to this ambitious signage project – to secure heavy floating letters to a wall built with plants. With the wall structure already in construction when planning for the signage began, the support system for the letters had to be designed around what was already in place.
Richard Hunter of Harrisons Signs explains: ‘At initial meetings we realised our structure would need to blend around what was already planned and still be strong enough to safely support the large letters. Letters that might look like quite an appealing climbing frame to anyone coming out of the local pub!’
The structure of the living wall had been planned like a giant Connect-Four grid to accommodate hundreds of 400mm square foliate planters. The planters were devised to slot into the wall framework, building up in layers to the top of the wall, and featuring 16 holes in each planter for the foliage to grow through. Harrisons Signs planned an H-section frame system positioned directly behind the living wall to provide suitably solid support for the letters. 32 letter fixing arms were then planned which provide 100mm clearance from the living wall for plant maintenance. Each arm is screwed into the H-section framework with a threaded rod welded to one end. A fixing flange on the opposite end attaches to the letter back tray.
Andy Armitage, Applelec business development manager, states: ‘We supported Harrisons Signs with components for the built-up letters and fixing arms in this project whilst advising on the installation system created for the letters.’
Harrisons Signs coordinated their installation mapping with the planting team to ensure each sign fixing arm could fit through one of the 16 holes in the planter boxes. The sign maker’s graphics team mapped out the signage positioning and created a guide for the precise location of each fixing arm. Following the build of the living wall, the arms could be slotted through the planter boxes, screwed into position, and finally letters were fixed into position.
Dave Robinson, Harrisons Signs project manager, concludes: ‘After months of planning and preparation, the installation was incredibly straightforward. As the saying goes, it’s all in the preparation.’