Just when we thought our work at this small steel factory in north Germany might be coming to an end, our clients came to us with yet another project: restoring the balustrading of the canal bridge right on the edge of the site. They needn’t have got involved: the work actually falls under the local council’s remit, with state funds allocated for all repairs. But the council’s budget only allowed for a standardised design with a budget aluminium railing, and our clients had other ideas.
They’d seen the positive effect good design and good materials can have on a place, and there was no question of accepting what the council could offer. It was a matter of respecting the past, too: the bridge used to be the way of entering the factory site, and the original bridge even bears the word ‘Stahlwerkbrücke’. So another way forward was brokered: if we could come up with a bespoke design which the council approved, the original budget could then be put towards it, and our clients would bear the costs over and above.
Our design is nothing like the standardised aluminium railing that they might have felt they had to accept. Corten steel will reference the industrial nature of the place, and the balustrading, with its sweeping and bulging form, will pick up on the shapes and details of Stahlwerk Aufstockung. So our long-standing collaboration continues, and there’ll soon be yet another showpiece to add to a seemingly ever-growing collection.