Having been given the green light by the London Borough of Southwark and Transport for London (TfL), U+I are working to deliver a new mixed-use scheme that will provide new affordable homes, shops, retail and workspace on the empty site on Southwark Street. PressOn have been working with U+I to site survey, print, and install a series of unique, highly-effective hoarding graphics to help enhance the appearance of the site as it progresses, and to connect the project to the historic local community in which it is situated.
The power of hoardings
Hoarding graphics offer so much more potential for developers and businesses than simply as advertising platforms. This is something we’ve been talking about at PressOn for some time, and it’s fantastic to see developers like U+I embracing the power of this impactful print media platform to engage with local communities, and enhance the perception of a construction project beyond a simple temporary installation – but as an integral part of a positive, proactive development in a community.
Designed by local architect Allies and Morrison, the development will transform a site near London Bridge station and Borough Market from an under-utilised space to a local cultural and social hub where people will want to live, work and visit. This will include 36 new homes, 50% affordable housing, and 12 new homes at social rent. The mixed-use scheme will create a new commercial centre for Southwark, providing more than 200,000 sq ft of commercial space for restaurants, cafés, retail opportunities and more, and a total of over 1850 jobs will be created as a result.
The site itself is of unique historical importance; it’s situated close to the Crossbones Graveyard in Redcross Way, Southwark – which is to be preserved and enhanced as part of the development. This location is now turned into a shrine and memorial garden, and is the site of graves of thousands of orphans and prostitutes buried over hundreds of years in unconsecrated ground, owned by the Bishop of Winchester.
This unique cultural significance has led to some rather unusual archaeological discoveries as part of the excavation – including something close to a Roman equivalent of an ‘Air BnB’. Other finds from the site currently include coins, jewellery, oyster shells, pottery, copper bowls and a gaming counter. These discoveries inspired the design of several of the hoarding panels.
The hoardings themselves have been printed and installed for various phases of the project. In June, once the area had been clad out in timber panels, PressOn installed phase one – featuring a bold colour scheme and captivating imagery and messaging, this acted as something of an ‘announcement’ for the project.
Phase 2 launched in August, and PressOn installed another series of hoarding graphics, this team featuring imagery of historic maps, pointing out the viewers location in a historical context, and drawing attention to the historical significance of the project, explaining what was taking place during the development.
Phase 3 is a masterful example of community engagement; as new archaeological artefacts were discovered as part of the excavation, the 3rd phase hoarding graphics were designed to highlight and document the findings – acting like a large museum exhibit with photos, descriptions, and information on the findings.
This project is a fantastic showcase for how construction site hoarding graphics can be used to expand upon and enlighten the public about a development; while simple brand advertising can be effective, there are few better ways to educate and engage with a local community than by designing and installing hoardings which bring the project to life in an immersive, educational way.