River Rea project

Commercial Pieces, Commissions, Corten, Outdoor, Sculpture, Signage
About This Project


The Brief


Our client, O’Brien Contractors, were building a new housing development on the regenerated former site of the MG factory in Birmingham. To welcome people into the development, they wanted to create a bespoke entrance archway. They also asked for a series of flower sculptures to be created in order to provide a focal point for the new community.


The Process


Working in collaboration with O’Brien’s Contractors, we started planning and research with a site visit. We do this for each project so we’re able to properly understand the surroundings and take accurate measurements.


Each flower needed to stand 4m tall, and the archway had the added complexity of replacing an existing archway with minimum head-height requirements. Seeing the space in person allowed our designers and engineers to craft precise drawings. Following client sign-off on the designs, we started work on each piece.


This project allowed us to collaborate with Oliver from O&C Blacksmiths on the flowers. With his expertise, we were able to create striking petals with a more realistic 3D appearance.


As with all our bespoke work, regular planning meetings were held to keep both the client and wider internal team on the same page.


The Result


The end result is an archway that is as functional as it is beautiful. It was specifically designed so that the top of it could swing open and allow high vehicles or emergency services to pass through.

The flower sculptures have also created a much-loved focal point for residents to enjoy.

The ability to combine traditional blacksmithing with modern techniques is one of the many reasons we loved working on this project. More than that, it’s always a pleasure to be involved in something that creates true interest and joy for a community.


Bespoke Projects


Based on your brief, we can create bespoke features to suit any style or location, or we can develop your ideas into a finished work of art.


Our in-house designers will conceptualise your design via detailed CAD drawings before we start. Our experienced craftsmen will then create and finish the project in our rural workshop.


We craft all our pieces to a high specification using a variety of techniques, both traditional and modern. We also use the latest plasma-cutting technologies.


For more examples of our steel sculpture work, take a look at our portfolio.


Why Corten Steel?


Corten steel offers an industrial, rustic-style effect that pops against any backdrop.


Cor-Ten is a brand name for steel alloys which were developed to be weather-proof, even without paint. It’s also referred to as ‘weathering steel’, ‘rusty steel’ and ‘Corten’.


The material organically adapts to its environment, producing a vibrant orange patina. This not only protects the steel but creates a stunning finish. Weathered steel is suitably stable. Rather than rusting entirely, the surface transforms over time in a consistent way that prevents further corrosion. The way it weathers will be as unique and attractive as your design.


Do you have an idea for a bespoke piece?


If you’re considering commissioning a project or would like to discuss a bespoke piece, please get in touch. Use our contact us form, email enquiries@afsculpture.uk or call 01858 419 940.