PROJECT: Tiptree Public Art, Essex
SECTORS: Commercial / Public Art
SERVICES: Landscape Design & Construction
CLIENT: Inland Homes
The Berryfileds development, Essex, was built on the ground of the former Tiptree United Football Club. Established in 1933 the site was the clubs ground until 2009. This unique history was the only contender to form the concept for a piece of public art which would be central to the development.
The ground of Tiptree United Football Club, also nicknamed ‘The Jam Makers’, had over 70 years of games played. With this strong story attributed to the site it was agreed by the design team & the client that the representation of the football should be the focal point of the public art. The proposal saw a stainless steel football, 4 times the size of a standard football, fixed to a steel bar allowing the ball itself to be suspended above ground level.
The concept sketches were accepted and signed off by both the client & the LPA enabling production to commence. The 32 panel football was constructed out of 4mm 304 brushed stainless steel which was laser cut into the respective shapes, 20 hexagons & 12 pentagons that form the 32 panel ball shape. Hand welding by Keebel Brothers was specified to join the panels with a two-stage welding process. Firstly, carefully tack welding each piece in order to achieve the rough shape, followed by seam welding that was carried out in small one inch sections. These small welds also had to be made on opposite sides of the ball each time to avoid the panels warping under the heat.
Following the labour intensive welding sessions, and fixing of the central root fixing bar, the football was ready for the final production process before installation on site. Sand blasting with two grades of sand ensured a smooth & safe finish. Now standing at 1.20m high with ground clearance of 30cm, the ball is forever heading toward the goal line.