How Pebble Beach Ended up in North Dakota
Graphic murals and metallic paint turn a community center into a dynamic space for golfers, gamers and visitors of all ages
A community center, by nature, draws a diverse crowd. People of all ages and interests converge in one multi-purpose building, which poses a design challenge for even the most creative minds. The architects at Sink Combs Dethlefs and JLG Architects designed and built the innovative Williston Area Recreation Center in North Dakota, and they tapped MDC for graphic murals and specialty paints that add atmosphere to each room.
“Williston’s number-one goal was to have fun with the facility. They wanted to incorporate many different program elements into the building’s structure and design, and they were looking for finishes that would be both dramatic and durable,” explains Architect Tony Deagan of Sink Combs Dethlefs.
For starters, the team applied a specialty paint called LiquaPearl to the center’s railings and trim for a durable metallic finish.
“It’s not a sheen like you might see in Vegas. It’s a subtle shine that makes the materials look like higher end metal,” says Deagan. LiquaPearl also has a reduced lifecycle cost, because the paint’s durability means less frequent touch-ups.
In addition to the effects of the metallic paint, the design team created visual intrigue in the center with custom wall murals. Although Sink Combs Dethlefs doesn’t typically use wallcoverings, Deagan heard about the graphic possibilities from Account Executive Lisa Coy at MDC, and they started brainstorming. Their ideas sprang to life on the Williston’s walls, one of which has a mural that quite literally stops people in their tracks.
“It looks like a subway train, and it’s so real that the community center staff worried people might draw graffiti on it,” jokes Deagan. The subway mural appears in the center’s youth area, adding interest to a recessed area toward the end of a curved, 500-foot concourse that’s two stories high.
“We looked at three-dimensional wall sculptural products, but they seemed stagnant. We wanted something with movement and we’ve implied movement with this graphic,” Deagan says.
In another part of the center, visitors enjoy a golf simulator in surroundings that mimic Pebble Beach. Deagan worked with MDC to convert a panoramic image of the famous course into a stunning mural that’s realistic enough to make Jack Nicklaus do a double take.
Then there is Williston’s child sitting room. For this area, Deagan and Coy found an image of a jungle and an image under the sea. To separate them, they created a digital graphic of a tree and applied it to a raised substrate for a dimensional effect. The team used black and white images and they applied a coating of Dry Erase Paint on top, so kids can color the butterflies and turtle graphics. The result is a 15 x 30-foot coloring wall.
“This is a one of largest rec centers in the country, and the graphics are bringing energy and life into all of the building’s spaces. They really add a moment of excitement for visitors, Deagan says. Jeremy Ludlum, Facilities/Program Director of Williston Parks & Recreation District, agrees.
“The creativity of the architects with the vibrant murals make those rooms inviting and unique,” Ludlum concludes.” And if you’re up for year-round golf in North Dakota, Williston is about as close to Pebble Beach as you can be. ###