As the oldest tennis tournament in the World, and regarded as the most prestigious, Wimbledon welcomes almost 475,000 visitors to the stadium for the Championships each year. Not to mention the thousands of supporters who flock to ‘Henman Hill’ to catch a glimpse of their sporting heroes on the big screen or the millions who tune in to watch from their homes. In the midst of such a popular event, Exterion were looking to extend the atmosphere and experience of Wimbledon beyond the stadium for this project, turning its attention to the surrounding areas whilst activating a practical wayfinding solution. This meant starting the branding journey to coincide with the visitor route, from the tube station – all the way to the courts.
The objective was to heighten the aesthetics of the customer journey, especially in the age of social media, where the whole day is likely to be photographed and shared. The client was also looking to fulfil the functional propositiont of a busy station, using the bespoke installation and a carefully positioned array of printed and dressed crowd barriers to filter visitors for best flow to the event on foot, bus or taxi.
Effectively extending the overall Wimbledon experience for fans and aiding movement of people with wayfinding in this highly visual manner required a range of print installations across a variety of media spaces. This included dressed crowd barriers, a photo opportunity board, and welcoming archways with prefabricated welded frames all covered with graphics to create a seamless journey.
Despite identifying clear objectives, the installation for this project was not however, without its challenges. One of the main issues the small implementation team faced was timescale, with work needing to begin at midnight on the opening day of the Championships and signed off by 6am, leaving just 12 hours for the whole process.
As in any public areas there were also health and safety restrictions due to a high potential of interaction with the general public, particularly those looking to catch an early glimpse of the installation. This meant working to the highest health and safety standards to ensure compliance. The landscape of this area also proved challenging, with the ground on an inconsistent slant, which meant that much of the prefabricated work was further added to on-site by a team of carpenters.
The team had the technical insight and experience of the location to ensure a high- quality installation, understanding that much preparation work had to be undertaken prior to arrive at the site, where possible. Yet despite the challenges of an uneven plaza and the tight turnaround time, Gardners delivered the project on time in excellent condition, substantially improving the experience and maintaining the stringent health and safety standards in and around the station for visitors to this high-profile event. This reliable service has resulted in Gardners undertaking this work for the past four years, with an ongoing and mutually beneficial relationship with Exterion.