Westminster Abbey Drone Photography and Video

Getting artwork for building wrap is not an easy task, especially in London where all the buildings and streets are so close together and you can’t get a good perspective.

Drone flight for building wrap artwork

Taking photographs for building wrap artwork at street level and then manipulating the image on a software program like Photoshop will only go so far. Once the building is over 20 meters high stretching the image perspective the building starts to look odd. Getting the artwork for building wrap life like is the very ‘art’ we specialise in.

Having done a lot of work for Westminster Abbey, Project Print Management was called in to produce a trompe l’oeil building wrap (also called scaffold wraps ) as St Margaret’s Church clock tower is having renovation work done and will be under scaffolding for over two years. A trompe l’oeil building wrap is basically a lifelike print of the building to disguise or hide the scaffolding. The art of course is not only getting the artwork for building wrap accurate but also making the print high enough resolution and ensuring the installation is carried out in a way you can’t see any fixings and creases. Only then will the trompe l’oeil building wrap look life like. The ambition is to make the construction site or scaffold go unnoticed.

The challenge in getting Artwork for building wrap

Having surveyed the area getting a van mounted platform positioned in the four elevations needed was not going to be possible or practical. One elevation would need the van to be positioned on Parliament Square. This would need special permission from Westminster Council and can take up to 4 weeks and the other elevation, trees were in the way from the only practical position.

The other option was a high resolution 4K drone.

Getting a drone to take the photos was the most practical solution. But flying a drone near the Houses of Parliament will need special permission and we know refusal is quite normal.

Westminster Abbey is neither a cathedral nor a parish Church but a ‘Royal Peculiar’ and is under the jurisdiction of a Dean and Chapter and needed to get permission from them first.

Artwork for building wrap

A drone pilot must have PFCO or CAA certification and insurance for commercial operations.

The pressure was on because by the time we got approval from the Dean we only had 1 week before the scaffolding went up and the opportunity to photographic and get the artwork for building wrap would have gone. All drone flights must apply for a Non Standard Flight Application from the National Air Traffic Control Services (NATCS).  This normally takes 1 week but can be up to 21 days. We managed to get provisional ATC approval in principle the day before we were supposed to fly and we had to also get clearance from the PaDP (Parliamentary and Diplomatic protection) and London Control SWA (Senior Watch Assistant) which can only be done one hour before the flight. Fortunately we got permission from both bodies needed and we took off at 5am.

We were very lucky, as it was a fine, clear morning with little wind. The photography took around 1.5 hours which gave us about 30 mins to take some spectacular video of Westminster Abbey.

For more information on Artwork for building wrap please contact us or visit or blog page for our latest work.

History of NATS 

Air traffic control for commercial flights in the UK started in 1920. Croydon was first used as London’s air terminal, but all the controller could do was give the pilot a red or green light for take-off and acknowledge position reports sent by radio. After the war, ATC became the responsibility of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and the network of air routes we use today began to develop in the 1950s.

Our forerunner, National Air Traffic Control Services (NATCS), was established in December 1962. It covered civil ATC but liaised with the MoD (RAF) in areas where military traffic needed to cross civilian routes. When the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was established in April 1972, NATCS became part of it and shortened its name to NATS.

In 1992 it was recognised that as a service provider NATS should be operated at a distance from its regulator, the CAA. With that in mind, NATS was re-organised into a Companies Act company in April 1996 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of the CAA.

artwork for building wraps

Westminster Abbey Drone video in 4K ultra HD High Definition

Westminster Abbey Drone video. See Westminster Abbey like you have never seen it before.  Drone footage taken of this amazing Abbey in 4K ultra HD High Definition Westminster Abbey is located just opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and an ideal sightseeing destination. Westminster Abbey is ranked 11th, House of Parliament 6th and … Read more

Construction wrap at Fulham Palace, London

Construction wrap is a life like image digitally printed on a fabric or PVC material and then wrapped onto a scaffolding sub-frame. Also known as a trompe l’oeil (which means ‘deceive the eye’ in French) building wraps.   This is a design technique that uses photo images to create an optical illusion. Replicating the building … Read more

Welfare cabin wrap

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Scaffold Shrouds Advertisement

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Printed building wraps in Marylebone, London

Printed building wraps are mainly used for decorative purposes to cover a building site or scaffolding structure. This scaffold wrap we produced for The Harley Street Clinic on Weymouth St, Marylebone, London  is a great example of the printed scaffold wraps we can produce. Digitally printed high resolution onto a mesh PVC banner material and … Read more

Scaffolding Shroud is very effective at hiding ugly scaffolding

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External facade wrap for Harley St, London.

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Artistic hoardings around construction sites giving local community some creative pleasure

  Artistic hoardings around construction sites are giving the local community some creative pleasure. With so much building work going on at the moment, local business and community’s patience is running out. Construction site hoardings are a health and safety requirement and often used as an effective marketing tool for the developers. However some considerate … Read more

How to get scaffolding prepared for Building wrap

The hardest part of the building wrapping is getting the scaffolding ready and safe for the building wrapping to be installed onto. The scaffolding can only be designed and erected by a qualified scaffolding contractor, who if necessary will have access to engineers to calculate important wind loads. These wind load calculations are very important, … Read more

Printed Scaffold wrap to hide construction work

Printed Scaffold wrap are a great way to hide construction work in conservation areas.                             This is our largest scaffold wrap this year totalling nearly 1000 meters2  on Wigmore Street, London. Digitally printed onto mesh PVC material over 5 banners, 15 meters … Read more

BMW Park Lane Scaffold wrap for London Olympics 2012

Out of all the Scaffold wrap challenges we have undertaken this project was by far the most challenging. The brief was to install a digitally printed building wrap  and hoarding to an existing scaffolding structure at BMW Park Lane, London, to tidy up the unattractive scaffolding for the Olympics.  The main issue was that the … Read more