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Align Design and Architecture creates new shopfront and street furniture designs
The regeneration project began with the development of a new kingfisher identity
The regeneration project began with the development of a new kingfisher identity

New shopfront and street furniture designs, a new identity and a 13m-high mural at King Street, Twickenham

Align Design and Architecture has undertaken a high street regeneration scheme for London-based real estate investor Essential Living in King Street, Twickenham. The components of the scheme range from a new set of shopfront design guidelines for King Street’s existing retailers and any new brands taking on a tenancy on the street’s conjoined parade of shops, together with new street furniture and a new identity/marketing emblem, as well as a striking, large-scale mural located at one end of the retail parade.

Identity and Mural
The consultancy began the regeneration project with the development of a new identity, based on the client’s idea of using the kingfisher bird as a central emblem, referencing both the street name and, as the kingfisher is strongly associated with water, the River Thames, which runs close by. The design development of the emblem investigated the best route between a realistic and a more graphic depiction of the bird, whilst the kingfisher’s vibrant plumage then inspired the new colour palette for the shopfront façades.

The final design then became the centrepiece for a 13m-high mural on one of the parade’s gable ends, at the junction between King Street and Wharf Lane (which leads down to the river), which has now been completed. The mural design was created by graphic designer Bobbi Galvin for Align Design and Architecture and was implemented by Graffiti Life, a collective of some of the world's best creatives, project managers and professional graffiti artists, featuring the work of five painters from Joy Collective.

The mural features the words ‘Welcome to King Street’ at the top in aluminium lettering, with a backlit LED light for evening presence. A circular motif, which is also halo-edge-lit at night, depicts a map of the street and the surrounding area, with the River Thames running through the centre. The kingfisher emblem stands proud of the circle, whilst the lines of the river follow the central blue of the bird’s plumage. Flower and plant tendrils then flow loosely in every direction from the central circle.

Shopfront Designs
Design guidelines have now been established for the shopfronts and these will come into being gradually, with individual planning applications submitted for each section of the parade.

The overall intent was to create a harmonious sense of unity for the parade’s shopfront elevations, through the alignment of key lines and the use of a family of related paint tones which offer up individuality, whilst also forming part of an integrated whole. We sought to ensure that all supporting elements, from benches and bins to planting, bike racks and each individual graphic element, also added to this unified new feel” Nigel Tresise, Director of Align Design and Architecture commented.

The new shopfront façades will feature a stall riser at a newly-uniform level, as well as all door frames at matching height and perfectly-aligned fascia signage, with paintwork featuring a range of blue tones from the new colour palette, inspired by the beautiful natural colouring of the kingfisher. The overall palette ranges from oak and ochre tones to a full spectrum of blues.

Street Furniture
The street furniture element of the scheme has also gone in for planning approval and is comprised of new pale timber benches with integrated Corten steel planters, together with a new paint colour for existing bike racks along the parade.

Rosalyn Rudman, Director of Commercial Asset Management at Essential Living, commented “We are currently investing a significant amount in placemaking across the parade. This includes the new mural, using the kingfisher as an emblem for our section of the high street.

The ambition behind the mural is to add interest to the parade and to mark King Street as its own destination – we believe that King Street well and truly deserves its own character within Twickenham!

Retail high streets across the UK have been severely impacted over the past few years as a result of changing consumer habits and the effects of Covid.

As long-term owners of our buildings, we believe that the right approach to revitalise our high streets is to invest in placemaking initiatives such as these.”

All images:  copyright Align Design and Architecture

About Align Design and Architecture
Align Design and Architecture is a dynamic and innovative multi-award-winning practice, founded in 2014 and led by original Co-founder and Director Nigel Tresise, RSA Fellow, Member of the Sustainable Design Collective and Design Insider Ambassador.

They work across architecture, interior design and placemaking and specialise in workplace strategy and design, along with hospitality, private and developer residential schemes and urban regeneration projects.

Align Design and Architecture works both nationally and internationally and is based in London in the burgeoning Clerkenwell area. Their projects are regularly published around the world and both the projects and the studio itself have won awards - a total of nineteen national and international design and creative awards to date.

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