Case study:  Design and manufacture - Public Art Piece       

We were approached by our customer with an artist’s impression of an art piece and asked to design and manufacture it. The art piece was to be placed in an external public area.

We were not given drawings and the customer did not know what materials and fixings would be required. We worked with the customer and came up with solutions to these issues to achieve a solid, safe, and high quality durable structure that needed a vibrant finish in various colours.

We experienced a range of issues and difficulties in achieving these requirements. Here’s how our skilled metalwork fabricators overcame those challenges:

  1. Starting only with an artist’s impression of the desired look of the art piece we then worked up an initial design and began the process of moving the paper idea to a physical structure by commencing the process of determining dimensions, tolerances, finishes and material. We drew up a basic 3D drawing package to work from.
  2. We designed and fabricated test pieces on a reduced scale to test colours, corners radius, alignment, and fabrication processes. We worked with our customer on these test pieces to establish the art piece being made of three frame units made from 40 x 40 x 3mm square hollow section skinned with 3mm mild steel sheets giving an overall impression of one contiguous piece.
  3. We experienced challenges in ensuring that the structure could be assembled with hidden connections/fixings not being on show. We designed it so that it could be assembled from the inside out to ensure that as few fixings as possible would be visible.
  4. The final structure needed to be aesthetically pleasing and, as far as possible, vandal and soundproof (not noisy when touched). The inherent design of the structure called for it to be touched, sat on, and used so it had to be safe. Once the colour scheme for the structure had been clarified, additional wood sections were added inside the structure in key places to ensure the structure would not make a loud metallic sound when touched. Finally, we used anti-vandal paint on top of base paint to assist with the prevention of vandalism.

We worked carefully to ensure the final finish was as vibrant and colourful as was expected. None of the fixings were visible from the exterior and a side panel allowed access to the interior if needed. Each of the various signs were checked and the customer was delighted by the high-quality statement piece.