Custom perforated metal: Muddy Creek Overpass
Perforated metal is sometimes associated with the park benches or partitions at your local train station. But what if you could customise a perforated metal sheet to a design that would both impress and align with the local aesthetic? That's what the team at Locker did for the Muddy Creek Overpass in Ador Park, Rockdale, New South Wales.
The client approached Locker because they wanted to upgrade the overpass with a custom design that would blend in with the creek's local flora. The colours needed to be subtle to work alongside the suburban area nearby.
Perforated metal is a piece of sheet metal that can be bent and manipulated with holes of any shape or size to create a mesh-like look. Standard perforations are sequential smaller holes, about one millimetre in circumference without any design specifications. However, the perforations can be easily customised to fit any scenario. The one caveat of requesting larger holes for a design is that the metal needs to be thicker.
Together, our team and the client decided perforated metal was the style of choice for this project. This choice created a clear distinction between the walkway over the creek and brought in sunshine, ventilation and visual openness simultaneously. It offered a way to separate the outdoor space from the walkway to create a sense of enclosure and safety.
When walking over a body of water, there needs to be a sense of security from a possible fall or trip. Technical Direction TD2002/RS02 has several standards designers need to consider:
- Safety screens must last up to 50 years.
- Existing bridges with a new screen need to be retrofitted to the structure.
- There must be a minimum of three millimetres up from the walkway surface.
- There should be space for the pedestrian to see their surroundings while on the overpass.
With these parameters in mind, we got started with the project right away.
The client wanted a custom design for their pedestrian walkway barrier. We decided to work with perforated metal because it offered the most structural soundness. Its characteristics also allow for more creativity and visual depth.
The client offered a design already in mind, which we began working on with laser cutting. As we considered the use and location of the barrier, however, we realised that the sharp edges of the laser cut would be a hazard. To solve this, we decided on using our PicPerf® technology so the perforations were instead stamped into the metal sheet.
The result was a smooth solution that looked great and produced the design effect the client was looking for. The holes of the perforated metal were fairly small, so we used three millimetres thick Australian-made aluminium.
We included laser-cut tabs into the metal panels so they could form part of the balustrading as well. This helped to align with safety standards and helped to work the design throughout the entirety of the 90-metre fencing.
Customized perforated metal designs create a unique look that communicates the focus the architect created while allowing for a uniform commercial look. The result of the overpass screen was a clean, white bridge barrier that looks incredible and blends in with the surrounding aesthetic.
Local flora near the small neighbourhood around the creek gives off the impression of countryside memories, easy days and welcomed comfort. The overpass screening offers this same appearance with an image of tall natural grass standing above the water rushing below. The colour choice was subtle, helping dissipate the hot Australian heat while working with the black chain link fencing behind it — a contrast that worked perfectly in this project.
Now, pedestrians can safely walk across the body of water without fear of slipping, falling or even blazing heat. With both shade and ventilation, the neighbouring commuters can enjoy the bridge all year long.
Custom perforated metal by Locker
Developing a custom perforated metal sheet is made easy when you work with Locker. We take all of your considerations and put together a solution that is both pleasing to the eye and aligned with local Australian standards.
We offer a variety of metals, hole sizing and coating methods including anodising, powder coating and electroplating depending on the location and use of your screen. We'll work with you to find the perfect solutions for your needs and architectural goals.
If you're ready to get started or to brainstorm a project idea, contact Locker today.