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.


Digital Case Study | Le Bec Fin, Philadelphia, PA

MDC’s Digital techniques created unique ambiance for Philadelphia’s famous restaurant, Le Bec Fin.

Converting original artwork to large-scale, digitally generated murals can transform a room – or even an entire restaurant. Le Bec Fin is a high-end establishment in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. Known for its modern French fare, the restaurant exudes glamour and sophistication. And when the owners decided it was time to renovate, they envisioned a vintage-meets-modern space that would reflect the look and mood of the “salons” you might have found on the streets of France years ago. They wanted to bring something unique to the restaurant’s fine dining experience.

They were looking for something different.

Restaurant General Manager Sylvain Brians hired DAS Architecture, which is known for one-of-a-kind designs. The firm decided to use original art to bring the restaurant’s vintage renewal theme to life throughout the interiors, and they engaged MDC to help make it happen. DAS Head Designer Michelle Calvert collaborated with MDC Marketing Manager and Digital Imaging expert Michael Scott, and they began the search for original art that would fit the restaurant’s theme.

Together, Michelle and MDC discovered the abstract works of New York artist Todd Krasovetz who worked closely with MDC to convert his art to the digitally generated canvas murals that are now the focal point of Le Bec Fin’s interiors. In fact, they define the look and mood of the place, from the minute you walk in the door. The dramatic art catches your eye and invites you down a stunning staircase to explore the restaurant’s new bar and lounge.

 “We knew we wanted to incorporated bold graphics into the space,” Calvert explains. “With Todd’s colorful artwork and MDC’s unique wallcovering capabilities, we were able to achieve the look we envisioned.”

The three abstract murals Krasovetz created tie together the restaurant’s blend of modern and vintage interior design.  He hand-produced the original artwork using what he calls an extremely spontaneous and natural style. The way the oil paint was applied creates intriguing textures that lead the viewer’s eyes throughout the art, which MDC carefully transferred to canvas through its unique Digital process.

“MDC provided a way to create a large-scale original piece for Le Bec Fin,” Krasovetz explains. “It’s a different way of recreating the original."

This proprietary technique allowed Michelle and Todd to customize the art for Le Bec Fin, so that the three murals flow naturally within the structure of the restaurant and its distinctive staircase.

“The murals turned a once-painted surface into something people will remember and talk about,” Calvert says. “Le Bec Fin was at first skeptical of the process because it was so new to them, but everyone involved was pleased with the results. And both DAS and MDC are excited to be a part of this hidden ‘gem’ in the city of Philadelphia.”

Architect: DAS Architects  |  Artist: Todd Krasovetz  |  Phtography: Paul S. Barholomew Photography


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