Architect Lorenzo Nassimbeni was recently commissioned to design a mural sited at the retaining wall of Sea Point Primary school in High Level Road, Cape Town. The project was a challenging and exciting one in that besides the overall graphic design of the mural, Lorenzo had to consider the logistics of the implementation of the mural over a the length of the wall stretching 140 metres.
In the context of Nassimbeni’s portfolio, the mural design is unique in that it considered the community-based effort which saw the Interact Clubs of Herzlia High School, Sea Point High School and Camps Bay High School join forces in the painting of the final product.
Nassimbeni designed the mural in such a way that it was implementable by 100 school students within short period of time. What resulted was a colourful and wonderful creative event, magically playing itself out between 09h00 and 13h00 on 19 April 2013, under Nassimbeni’s enthusiastic supervision.
The Lorenzo Nassimbeni mural at Sea Point Primary School
In order to keep the task manageable, Nassimbeni kept the design extremely simple. The design was composed of a single building block forming the basis of an ordered pattern. The building block was based directly on the geometry of the house-shaped exhibition pod used by the Plascon Design Centre (formerly Freeworld Design Centre) in their showroom space. Plascon was involved in the project in that they generously donated the paint for the project.
The building block was physically translated into a series of identical cardboard templates which were used by the school students to stencil the design onto the wall following a layout drawing provided by Lorenzo Nassimbeni, explaining the geometry and colour code of the mural. Once the design had been traced onto the wall which had been pre-painted in calming blue, the school students carefully brought the mural to life with yellow and white paint. Lorenzo Nassimbeni’s selection of the yellow colour was in reference to the fact that Cape Town has been chosen as the World Design Capital for 2014.
The design concept of the Lorenzo Nassimbeni mural is as simple as its layout. When facing the Signal Hill, the host wall begins on the CBD side of High Level Road and continues toward Fresnaye. At the CBD side of the wall, the building block is used to compose a formation resembling a series of school students holding hands. This is the densest part of the mural, referring to the geometry of the city. The idea here is to communicate that besides the bricks and mortar of buildings, cities are made up of the people whom inhabit these buildings, and the spaces formed between them.
As the pattern of the Lorenzo Nassimbeni mural continues on toward the Fresnaye side of the High Level Road, it starts to simplify itself, and separate out into the components making up the formation of the school children holding hands. The pattern continues at an even density as a row of houses referring to the residential aspect of High Level Road. The house-like shapes get less and less dense as they get further from the CBD-side of the road and approach Fresnaye. Toward the end of the mural at the Fresnaye-side of the wall, the house-like shapes become fewer and fewer until only the base-colour blue of the wall remains, referring to the sea and sky of Sea Point.
Sincere thanks to the following people for their contribution to this amazing project :
- Kerstin Eser of the Plascon Design Centre for her valuable support in selection of paint colours.
- Janet Kriseman and Tamsin Kantor of the Herzlia Interact Club for their dedicated involvement in the entire process of the project from start to finish.
- The Interact Clubs of Herzlia High School, Sea Point High School and Camps Bay High School for their wonderful effort in implementing the mural.
- The Rotary Club of Sea Point for the donation of the cost of the painting of the base colour of the wall.
- Laughtons Hardware for that all important last minute can of yellow paint!