A number of existing wrought-iron and steel features have been replicated in Medium Density Board to create a fully integrated appearance at one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions.
Visitors on tours around the Guinness Storehouse, which is part of the Guinness production facility in Dublin, see many steel girders, high beams, wrought iron applications, rusty pipework and exposed brick, which have all been cleverly used by the architects.
BOL Design were commissioned to create features in the large retail area to blend in visually with the rest of the building. Technical director Brian O’Loughlin says they came up with a number of fixtures made mostly from MDF, but were styled to fit in with the steel work, the rusty pipes and rivets that were prevalent throughout the building.
The Storehouse is laid out over seven floors surrounding a glass atrium in the shape of a pint of Guinness. The ground floor introduces the beer's four ingredients; water, barley, hops and yeast, as well as the brewery's founder, Arthur Guinness. Other floors feature the history of Guinness advertising, an interactive exhibit that encourages responsible drinking, a live installation of the present day brewing process, the Gravity Bar with 360° views over Dublin City where visitors claim a complementary pint of Guinness, and the retail area created by BOL Design.
“The centre floor gondolas in the retail area have a steel shelving chassis underneath, and are then dressed up with accents that fit the building,” says Brian O’Loughlin. “There are two generic styles, turquoise girders, and a black and white high gloss foil finish to match the Guinness brand colours.”
Those two styles meant that all point of sale units and other items blended in seamlessly with the existing authentic features. BOL’s work included producing a gallery section displaying Guinness clocks, mirrors, posters and other high value items, along with two powered rotating towers in an area where visitors’ names can be printed on bottle labels.
“We also produced a large video wall containing three 32-inch screens in bespoke boxes, again styled to fit in with the girder look, along with a full background graphic that goes up the spiral stairs.”
And the market-leading Alphacam CAD/CAM software was used in the production of every component. With around 16 separate fixtures in six separate styles, Brian O’Loughlin says Alphacam was extremely useful in generating the programming codes for their Anderson Stratus, Homag Venture Weeke and Brema CNC machines.
Describing themselves as a design company that manufactures, rather than a manufacturing company that does some designing, BOL predominantly produces retail display equipment – usually point of sale units – for a number of well known brands including Nestlé; Cadbury; Roberts Coffee; Cuisine de France; and the popular Irish mobile phone and broadband network, Meteor.
Around 90% of throughput on their CNC machines is now driven by Alphacam, comprising MDF board, hard wood, chipboard, solid surface laminate and foam PVC board.
“The main reason we drive all three CNC machines with Alphacam is to enable us to run a job on any machine after it’s been programmed once. Previously, if we wanted to move a job from the Weeke to the Anderson, we had to go back to the CAD stage, get the dxf files and reprogram, which was time consuming and repeating something we’d already done, but there was no way round it before we had Alphacam. Now, once the program’s been produced it can be post processed to any machine, so Alphacam aids versatility and our response time in delivering to the client.”