Chill Factore, Manchester
Image Group Install 3,500 Square Metre 'Freeze' at Chill Factore.
Manchester-based large format digital print and exhibition specialist, The Image Group, has successfully installed the largest vinyl print in the company's history.
This incredible 12-week installation will be on for the enjoyment of the skiing fraternity at Chill Factore, the country's finest all year round, snow-based leisure experience, located next to The Trafford Centre just off the M60 in Greater Manchester. And thanks to the Image Group, indoor snow seekers will look out across a spectacular alpine scene, blissfully unaware of the enormous logistical challenges the company met and overcame to install the monster 3,500 square metre graphic. No fewer than six abseilers on 200 feet of rope plus two cherry pickers combined to deliver one of the company's most spectacular installations.
The Image Group sales director Rick Jervis said:
"We were given a blank canvas by Chill Factore and asked to recreate an Alpine scene. It's been our biggest challenge yet requiring the largest vinyl print we've ever completed. But printing the artwork was just the beginning!"
"We knew this was never going to be a straight forward installation. We couldn't drill into the walls because the finished environment needs to be temperature controlled. And we couldn't use scaffolding because of the weight, cost and time."
"Our solution was to draft in special cherry pickers and train our team to use them. This worked well for the first six weeks of the installation. But once a tin floor was laid containing glycol pipes to create the alpine temperatures - the cherry pickers were too heavy to use."
"That's when we called in the crack abseiling team using can-span machinery to control ascent and descent. There was no room for error. We needed to line up each image perfectly on the overlap or the effect would have been ruined. We often relayed two or three times to ensure a perfect match."
The Image Group alpine scene is a backdrop for Europe's longest and widest real snow indoor ski slope - the centrepiece of the £31 million 23,225 square metre venue. It will include three separate but inter-connected real snow slopes catering for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.
There will also be a toboggan run and a separate children's snow-play zone featuring igloos, ice-castles and slides. The themed 'Alpine street' scene will offer shops, bars and restaurants with panoramic windows and balconies overlooking the slopes.
"This has been a real milestone installation for the Image Group and we'd like to thank Chill Factore for their support along with partners like Robert MacAlpine who helped such a challenging project run so smoothly."
Chill Factore Chairman, Peter Moore OBE, added:
"With a project of this complexity we rely on every subcontractor's flexibility, professionalism and can-do approach in their work. And the Image Group more than typified the level of service we expect."
"The sheer scale of the project clearly restricted options available for the installation of this enormous graphic but we were especially impressed with how The Image Group showed both creativity and flexibility to meet challenges and ensure the installation was completed on time and with the minimum of fuss."
"The result, as people will soon see for themselves, is simply spectacular."
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