Known for providing versatile design options, ACO’s Freestyle grates are ideal for matching the contextual aesthetics of a space. ACO recently delivered these grates in two high-profile Australian public space projects, utilising the area as inspiration to create a stylish and durable drainage solution.
Renewal SA and City of Adelaide created a joint $1 million investment for a placemaking program along the Market to Riverbank Link. The program involved an upgrade to key streets in order to create a thriving connection between Adelaide Central Market and Adelaide Riverbank. Aesthetic was extremely important in the design of this route, which includes five artwork installations, leafy tree canopies, lighting and stylish street furniture, as they wished to create a lively walkway that encourages public engagement.
In order to comply with this theme, artist Amy Joy Watson was commissioned to design grates for the route with ACO Freestyle grates, inspired by the local geology of the area. “As if uncovered by an archaeologist, the banded pattern running through the drainage grates and carved out of the seating elements seem to unveil traces of ancient landscapes and rock formations,” said Watson. “These artworks speak to the layers of history, cultures, stories and time that has brought us to where we are now.”
Nicknamed the ‘Geode’ grate, Watson developed a design that mimics the natural shapes and patterns of geode mineral deposits, creating a unique grate system that adheres to the theme of the space.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at the University of Sydney constructed a new six-storey building as part of a large $700 million investment project. The adjacent public space utilised a selection of ACO Freestyle grates at the top and base of the stairs, with the distinctive design orientated to create an illusion of flowing down the stairs. “The design was related in part to a strategy the university has about recognising indigenous culture and the split in the two levels across the site,” explained Keith Stead from Oculus. “The site design worked as a line that connected the two levels, and is based on the organic form and flow of water between these two levels and spaces.”
As both projects required a target slip resistance rating, ACO’s Freestyle grate was the ideal choice, as it adheres to ACO’s Heelsafe®Anti-Slipphilosophy. This philosophy is embedded in their range of architectural grates, which are underlined by five factors that promote safe pavement designs for public spaces. The designs of each grate had to be designed and tested for slip-resistance before they could be approved for installation.
ACO Freestyle grates offer a world of possibilities for urban spaces, providing a versatile, bespoke drainage system that coordinates with new or existing public spaces and structures. Streetscapes, public squares, courtyards and more can be significantly enhanced as designers are able to incorporate contextual design elements with a range of tools that allow for a range of customisation options that are compatible with ACO’s Polycrete® Channels. ACO also works with the designers to ensure slip resistance levels are met, providing safe, durable and stylish grate system that is ideal for any public space.