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The busy business hub of Bradmore square in Hammersmith, west London, has been newly reinvigorated by the Edible Bus Stop®, unique landscape architecture and design consultancy and Decorum London, creator and supplier of Shou Sugi Ban.
The partnership has resulted in the creation of a destination space that now encourages people to spend time and support the local businesses in the square, rather than merely a corridor to exit and enter Hammersmith Broadway tube station.
To achieve this, Mak Gilchrist, Founding Director, Curator and Producer at The Edible Bus Stop explained: “We used various creative interventions for this project, including a bespoke floor treatment, along with mirrored fins and bespoke twisted planters made with MTX, outdoor MDF, and Shou Sugi Ban, the distinctive charred wood, to bring some more green to the space.”
While Shou Sugi Ban brings a unique aesthetic to the planters, to ensure their functional lifespan they are lined with MTX, a composite wood product made by MEDITE SMARTPLY that’s guaranteed for a lifetime of 25 years in contact with soil. “Being a public realm site, it was essential the material used was robust and fit for purpose, which is why we chose MTX for the planters’ construction,” said Mak.
Set behind each planter are large mirrored fins which reflect and expand Bradmore Square and add a deeper dimension to the foliage. Bringing balance to the twisted design of the planters, the planted Japanese Niwaki trees have been carefully clipped into topiary couples in several different heights, complementing the surrounding architecture of the site. While each planter weighs just under 200 kilograms, fixings were designed not to be seen from the exterior, to ensure a seamless, neat finish.
“We are very pleased with the results and the clients are delighted. Bradmore Square has been completely transformed and is now a destination space throughout the week and the businesses facing onto it are seeing an upturn in footfall and clientele,” said Mak.
The overall design for the space, including the planters, was by the Edible Bus Stop, while all materials used in the construction of the planters and their accompanying fins were supplied by Exterior Solutions, sister company to Decorum London, who installed them.
Venetia Harrison, Marketing Manager at Exterior Solutions explained: “We have often used MTX alongside other treated wood products that we supply, for use in our installations. Here, it was the perfect solution as it’s an organically produced product, and carries a 25-year guarantee for use as a planter liner that’s alternative to plastic or metal. As it’s a composite wood, it’s also extremely easy to machine into the exact sizes and specifications required to fit the unique “twisted” design of the planters.”
Shou Sugi Ban is a Japanese term for the ancient art of charring timber to both preserve the wood and give it a unique burnt finish. This process, pioneered in the UK by Decorum London, is only carried out on the toughest of woods. Venetia explains: “This time, we used Accoya to create the Shou Sugi Ban, from which the external elements of the planters are made, as it’s one of the toughest, most long-lasting treated wood products available.
“In the past we have used MTX for this as well, as it reacts positively to the process. Whichever wood is chosen, it’s important that maintains its durability after the charring process, therefore those that are specially treated for durability and dimensional integrity are the best.”
MTX is acetylated MDF, specially formulated for use outdoors or with landscape projects. Sustainably produced, it offers landscaper designers a wood-based, environmentally friendly alternative to plastics or metals for installations, that can last for up to a generation. When not in direct contact with soil, it’s lifetime guarantee is extended for up to 50 years outdoors in all weathers.
The multifunctional Bradmore Square features a collection of bars, restaurants, and social spaces frequented by suited clientele looking for a relaxed business lunch or Friday unwind.
The Edible Bus Stop Studio are a design consultancy specialising in urban green spaces. They utilise planted sculptural design to transform sites in to destination places. Keep up with them here: theediblebusstop.org/
Decorum London are Landscape Consultants based in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, working in collaboration with Exterior Solutions Ltd. Find more information here: exterior.supplies/product/charred-accoya-cladding/
Find more information about MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME here: mdfosb.com/en/medite/products/medite-tricoya-extreme