Neal Street is a busy shopping thoroughfare situated in the heart of London’s Covent Garden. Existing timber bollards on the street had gradually deteriorated over time and The Worshipful Company of Mercers wished to upgrade to a more robust cast iron solution, using Furnitubes’ Cannon bollards that are widespread throughout Westminster, but adding some site-specific detailing relevant to the area.
The Worshipful Company of Mercers was an association of merchants dealing mainly with the luxury end of the cloth market, and in 1425 a maiden became their symbol. Over many centuries she has been depicted wearing the fashions of any given period and graced letterheads, plaques and stone reliefs. One such maiden can still be seen on a bronze door knocker at 23 Neal Street and was used as the basis for a plaque to be incorporated on the new bollards.
Using a non-invasive laser-scanning technique developed for recording archaeological finds, Furnitubes was able to create a highly detailed 3D model of the original and then manipulate this in 3D modelling software to make it suitable for casting purposes. The next stage was to output the model as a physical entity using a 3D printing process as the basis of a pattern to cast from.
The resulting cast aluminium plaques were discretely fixed to Furnitubes' Cannon bollards and painted over so as to appear integral to the bollard casting.
The installation of nearly 30 new bollards with the Mercers’ Maiden has improved traffic management on Neal Street and provided an interesting connection to the area’s heritage.