Sep 20, 2017 Last Updated 11:00 PM, Sep 10, 2017

Townscape talks about the launch of graphic concrete in the UK

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Jonathan Goss, Managing Director of Townscape, talks about the launch of graphic concrete in the UK and the role it can play in transforming the perceptions of concrete.

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Concrete has recently experienced a surge in popularity in the UK, but as widely used as it is – concrete has never previously provided much artistic or creative potential.

As a manufacturer of concrete street furniture for over 40 years, it has sometimes been hard to generate excitement about concrete. However, graphic concrete has changed all of that. All of a sudden, concrete has become interesting!

We are excited to announce that we have launched an innovative new concrete casting service, enabling images, designs and textures to be embossed into concrete surfaces. We have even devoted a new division and website to this exciting development – GraphicConcreteHQ.

So, what is graphic concrete and what is its purpose?

Graphic concrete was originally created by Finnish interior architect Samuli Naamanka. The idea was to create real industrial product for large-scale surfaces, whilst giving designers and architects the power to be more visually creative and increase the delivery speed of projects.

Using our new method, architects and designers now have carte blanche to turn walls or pavements into unique pieces of art that lift their projects and give them a signature look. From a simple pattern or transfer to intricate artwork or deep sculpting – the potential is limitless.

Improved aesthetics

Standard partition walls, paving slabs, facades and, more generally, concrete elements of all sizes can be transformed into eye-catching features. Rather than settling for a dull, predictable effect, graphic concrete can enhance the design of buildings and structures such as schools and colleges, hospitals, retail and transport hubs – without degrading their functionality or durability. It allows the aesthetics of concrete facades to be greatly improved.

The finished product offers a highly creative, unique, weather proof, attractive, and, most importantly, cost effective architectural solution that is visually appealing to all.

Our first graphic concrete project has been completed in the market town of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, which has undergone a £2.4m regeneration project to revitalise its town centre, of which public art and sculptures were a key focus for landscaping.

Ashfield District Council were looking to create an attention-grabbing piece of artwork as a focal point of the new square which will be used for markets, public events and community activities. The council wanted the artwork to contrast with statues and sculptures designed to represent the historical sporting and mining heritage of the town, as the piece would have a focus on the town’s future.

We were commissioned to work on the project alongside a local artist to design a piece of bespoke artwork manufactured from precast concrete. In partnership with a local academy, a 40m long x 2m high graphic concrete art wall was designed, incorporating self-portrait and local landscape photographs. The photographs were transferred onto a precast concrete surface, resulting in one large concrete wall.

The final result boasts a long-lasting, weather proof, robust and cost-effective centrepiece.

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