This project celebrates the rich history of Marylebone and Baker Street. The walkway links under the Marylebone Road at the busy Baker Street junction.
The world’s first tube line (The Metropolitan Line) ran from Baker Street in 1863. The theatrical Victorian sense of exhibition and adventure is the theme for the underpass.
The short walk takes visitors though a nostalgic flashback of the time.
This exciting job involved the full suite of NES' capability: 3D design, welding of sub frames, cladding panel manufacture, wide format digital printing, anti-graffiti nano lacquer and installation.

In order to deal with the complexities of the stairs and an existing construction site a 3D digital point cloud survey was taken. This was then converted into a digital vector map of the unclad underpass. The architects drawings were then redrawn in CAD. The structure was built away from the wall. This was important to enclose the cabling and ducting behind the cladding. Antti rattle EPDM pads were added to the back of the cladding hanging brackets. This is to reduce the risk of panels vibrating or being dented by members of the public.

The "Curiosity Units" are fabricated from steel structures cantilevered away from the walls. These were then clad in the digitally printed and lacquered aluminium. The windows and peep holes are fabricated from toughened low iron glass to ensure they can withstand scratching and graffiti. As the underpass is cleaned on a daily basis the internally illuminated units has the be sealed to protect the interesting contents.
NES has wide format direct to media UV digital printers. NES can print at up to 2.4 meters in width and 6 meters in length. The head on the printers can be raised to 50mm above the face of the bed. This allows us to print formed and powder coated panels directly on the bed. The adhesion to the base layer is something we have refined over the years. This results in a high density, high resolution print that is strongly adhered to the face of the material. A solution on this job would have been to clad the underpass and then laminate digitally printed vinyl to the panels as a post manufacture process. The difference in the direct to media approach is the long term performance of a powder coated aluminium over vinyl. The digital printed has 16 separate heads that simultaneously print and are cured.

The Nano lacquer uses the latest technological developments to deliver superior performance in this hi impact environment. The lacquer provides a clear matt finish that does not alter the digital print or powder coated aluminium. In addition to this the 9H surface hardness makes scratching the digitally printed cladding difficult even with steel bag clasps. On the external areas the Nano lacquer also has anti UV protective capabilities. Graffiti from spray cans or permanent marker pens can easily be wiped off with soapy water. With a traditional anti-graffiti lacquer or laminate at the end of the guaranteed lifetime the product yellows, cracks and slowly flakes off. With our Nano lacquer it can be replaced in situ.

Project details:
Completetion date: 01.01.2015
Client: TFL
Lead Contractor: FM Conway
Scope: Design, manufacture and installation
Scale: 250 sq. m


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