Resin Bound Pathways for Embassy Gardens
Nine Elms London
Clearstone install permeable resin bound surfacing for pathways in diplomatic district of Nine Elms
Clearstone MD Andy Forsey proposed complete removal of the previous problematic surface: “After excavation, we laid a permeable sub-base of MOT Type 3 and a porous tarmacadam AC14 open surf.” explains Andy. “It’s vital to get the base right, as the performance of the top resin bound layer completely depends upon adequate preparation.” Andy Forsey MD Clearstone
Resin bound specialists Clearstone received recognition of their permeable surfacing expertise when they got the call to bring their skills to the distinctly upgraded Nine Elms district of south London. Around 50 acres of new public space combines housing, commercial development, parkland, cultural facilities and, famously, London’s prime new diplomatic district.
Embassy Gardens is the centrepiece of the Nine Elms development. Architect Kieran Timberlake has crafted an impressive environment here – where balance is everything – particularly the design of the pavilions, lawns and pathways that provide the approach and setting for some of south London’s most significant, and internationally known, new architecture.
Standards in this new district are high. Initial installations of another contractor’s self-binding gravel, though porous, were disappointing, as rainwater was found to puddle. International diplomats are not known to favour muddy residue on their shoes – so this surface was quickly deemed to be not up to scratch.
At this stage, Clearstone’s specialists were brought in, to rethink the surfacing strategy and devise a high quality installation that would form a smarter, more cohesive solution for this prestige location. The challenge was to deliver the technical performance that was demanded, while still complementing the carefully crafted natural appearance that is such a key characteristic of Embassy Gardens’ landscaping.
The need to treat this site sensitively inspired Clearstone to be bold. Clearstone MD Andy Forsey proposed complete removal of the previous problematic surface: “After excavation, we laid a permeable sub-base of MOT Type 3 and a porous tarmacadam AC14 open surf.” explains Andy. “It’s vital to get the base right, as the performance of the top resin bound layer completely depends upon adequate preparation.” Once Andy was happy with the all-important base, his team hand-laid the resin-bound gravel for which Clearstone is known. ‘Luna’ was selected from the company’s wide colour palette – chosen to complement the design of the walling beside the paths.
Like all the best projects, this work came with its challenges, and the Clearstone team enjoyed meeting them. Retro-fitting an improved surface into an otherwise complete environment called for careful project management. A scaffold platform was constructed over the beautiful planting, enabling waste to be removed, machinery to be used, and materials moved onto site, without disturbing the pristine landscaping Clearstone had been tasked with enhancing.
The end result works brilliantly. The delicate visual balance of the designer’s vision has been preserved, but now with the performance and durability that’s required in one of London’s most significantly improved locations.
Resin Bound Colour: Luna
- Groundworks: TTS Surfacing Ltd.
- Area: Installed resin bound area 210 m2, laid at a thickness of 18mm.
- Installation Date: September 2020