Devonshire Road, London Case StudyThermmark
We were contacted by Jan Kattein Architects in January 2022 regarding collaboration on a new project in Enfield, London. The project was part of a larger scheme with Enfield Council to renovate streets and pavements in the centre of Enfield into more people-friendly streetscapes after the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
As we believe strongly in the power of urban regeneration, and find nothing more fun than creating new, bespoke designs, this was an exciting project that we were keen to get to work on, demonstrating a more playful and creative side to thermoplastic road and playground markings!
We loved the proposed concept of the space and the artwork, so were excited to see how it came out.
“Thank you for your very important part in creating this new space for the neighbourhood…”– Corina from Jan Kattein
Whilst there were a few new streetscape projects in the Enfield area, one of these projects was based on Devonshire Road, which is the site we were to collaborate on. The concept for this site was a large chalkboard, featuring a playground with moveable street furniture, and more relevant to us, some fun large connect-the-dot characters that children could interact with and fill in with chalk.
Jan Kattein Architects sent through a plan of the site, including the pavement ‘drawings’ that we could assist with, which featured several characters. In this case, as the concept was based on dot-to-dot drawings, parts of the artwork were already drawn, such as the heads and faces of the characters, along with the numbered dots to be connected with chalk by the children, to complete to drawing.
They also requested that we remove some older road markings in the area to help repurpose the existing surface for the new concept.
Why Jan Kattein Chose Thermmark for the Devonshire Road Project
Our ability to manufacture the bespoke markings in thermoplastic to the original design with our high-precision water jet cutting machines meant that we were able to accurately replicate the exact drawing by the artists. All the client had to do was send us the files, and we could easily and quickly convert this into CAD format ready for manufacture.
As we manufacture our thermoplastic material from scratch, we know that the material has been designed to last for years to come, usually around 8-10 years depending on how heavily it is used, which is another deciding factor when looking to install a permanent or semi-permanent art installation, as fading artwork can ruin even the best projects. In comparison to paint, thermoplastic lasts around eight times as long – so especially if you are looking for a streetscape design that lasts for a long time, thermoplastic is definitely the best bet!
We were also able to guarantee this installation for three years, as we work with fully trained and experienced installation teams that understand how to properly work with our materials, ensuring the longevity of the installation.
Another service we offer, marking removal, also was useful in this case, as we could also remove faded existing road markings to allow for the new markings to stand out clearly on the ground. This comes in handy when redesigning streetscapes as it helps to strengthen the new streetscape design with a brand new purpose and feel!
We have a proven track record when it comes to manufacturing and installing thermoplastic marking designs for landscape architecture projects such as this one – we even have an in-house design team to help you bring your ideas to life!
Given a deadline and timeframe, we were able to work to this in terms of manufacturing and getting to site to carry out the installation. Due to the more complex nature of the installation – imagine even trying to draw a ‘connect-the-dots’ art piece by eye! – we knew that there could be issues getting the work to look right, so we made sure to manufacture extra copies of certain tricky parts and pieces, ensuring that the installation day would go smoothly, with plenty of backups if anything went wrong or had to be redone. However, this was not an issue, as the installation team was easily able to lay down the material in place by eye and burn it into the ground with little issue – but it’s always good to be prepared in situations like this!
The only real issue we faced was the uncooperative weather the first time around. Because thermoplastic cannot be installed on wet ground, and the melting/burning-in process obviously cannot be performed in the rain, we had to stop part-way through and revisit at a later date to fully complete the installation when the weather was suitable.
When we received the photos via email from Jan Kattein Architects, we very impressed with how the whole project came together – all parties worked hard and this work paid off! As stated by Corina at Jan Kattein, “…it’s safe to say the children love it!” – and we could not be happier with the way the markings fit in with the surrounding streetscape.
As we are primarily a playground marking manufacturer, it’s really interesting to see a different take on playscapes, and we hope to be involved with more streetscape landscaping and playscape projects like this in the future! Thank you to Jan Kattein Architects for asking us to be involved in this fantastic urban regeneration project.
Credit: Enfield Council (client) and Jan Kattein Architects (designers + photos)