Beneath a Mexican Sky

A complex set of steel-framed decorative concrete stepping stones for a Medal-winning garden at the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower show.

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About the project

‘Beneath a Mexican Sky’ was designer Manoj Malde’s first show garden at the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. We were commissioned to design and build four large stepping stones, as part of a water-feature that formed the garden’s centrepiece.

For each stepping stone, the largest measuring 2m x 1.5m, we made a powder-coated steel frame, which was filled with a thin layer of micro-cement, topped with a zinc resin to create a subtle sheen. Although they look fairly simple, there was a lot of highly complex engineering beneath the surface. They’re mounted on a hidden cantilever system that makes them appear to ‘float’ over the central pool; we also had to ensure they could be craned into position without cracking. Similarly, the water feature itself, while superficially uncomplicated, required a huge amount of hidden engineering to make it look and work as the designer wanted.

We knew both the structural work and the overall finish had to be perfect to meet the judges’ standards: our long hours of painstaking work paid off when ‘Beneath a Mexican Sky’ took a coveted Silver-Gilt Medal.

About the project

‘Beneath a Mexican Sky’ was designer Manoj Malde’s first show garden at the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. We were commissioned to design and build four large stepping stones, as part of a water-feature that formed the garden’s centrepiece.

For each stepping stone, the largest measuring 2m x 1.5m, we made a powder-coated steel frame, which was filled with a thin layer of micro-cement, topped with a zinc resin to create a subtle sheen. Although they look fairly simple, there was a lot of highly complex engineering beneath the surface. They’re mounted on a hidden cantilever system that makes them appear to ‘float’ over the central pool; we also had to ensure they could be craned into position without cracking. Similarly, the water feature itself, while superficially uncomplicated, required a huge amount of hidden engineering to make it look and work as the designer wanted.

We knew both the structural work and the overall finish had to be perfect to meet the judges’ standards: our long hours of painstaking work paid off when ‘Beneath a Mexican Sky’ took a coveted Silver-Gilt Medal.

Location

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017  

Client

Manoj Malde

Contractor

Living Landscapes

Client

Inland Homes Plc
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