Projects - Architectural

Structural corten steelwork

Garden Monsters for Family Action by idverde - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

We were incredibly excited to be invited to work with leading designer Alistair Bayford on the ‘Family Monsters’ garden, built by Idverde for charity Family Action at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Our brief comprised a DWG plan and an elevation sketch, so the success of this ambitious and prestigious project depended on our ability to correctly interpret the designer’s vision and translate it into a manufacturable design.

Every visible metal component in the garden was to be 8mm thick Corten. Whenever we work with Corten our first process is to bead-blast the raw material. This results in a more consistent finish post-fabrication and also means less power is required for both laser-cutting and welding.

The garden’s central feature was a pool of water; however, gardens at Chelsea are ‘no-dig’, which meant creating a tank above ground. Made from 8mm thick Corten, it measured 1m high and more than 2.5m long, with all components laser cut in-house prior to rolling. The base was suspended to reduce the water required; all welds were dye-tested to ensure it was perfectly watertight.

The tank was surrounded by a curved platform, which was filled with resin-bonded gravel once installed, and also supported a number of large glacial rocks. We worked with a structural engineer to calculate the loads, resulting in a complex support system fabricated from 5mm box section.

Access to the platform was via a spiralling walkway, which we also fabricated using 8mm Corten. The 3D modelling helped us perfect both the curve and the spiral to ensure the fabrication process was as simple as possible on this extremely complex shape.

For the outer perimeter edging we used our Series 3 edging system in 10 sections, each with different convex and concaved radii. The final metalwork was the installation of mesh gabion panels, each cut to shape to match the curved ramp pathway, and then rolled as a laminate to ensure the curve was not faceted.

Once completed we were able to assemble the entire garden in our assembly factory ahead of a successful pre-delivery inspection by the client. This extensive, complex metalwork design and manufacturing project drew on all our in-house technology, problem-solving skills and fabrication expertise, and involved a large number of specialists within our team. The result is an outstanding example of our unique ability to realise a designer’s vision in metal, to the highest standards of structural integrity and aesthetic perfection.

Call us on 01903 716960 to discuss your upcoming project

  • Structural corten steelwork - project video

  • First stage engineering drawings

  • 3d renders created in Solid Works

  • Bystronic laser-cutter automatic loader

  • Bystronic laser-cutter cutting components

  • Laser-cut components

  • Laser-cut components

  • Rolling outer shell of the central pool

  • Folding outer shell of the central pool

  • Welding the central pool

  • Weld from the central pool

  • Fabrication of the central pool

  • Fabrication of the raised platform

  • Supports

  • Fabrication of the raised platform, outer metalwork and central pool

  • Outer metalwork

  • Complete build with corten finish

  • Edging with corten finish

  • Complete build with corten finish