In 2010, HeineJones designed an interpretive solution for a ‘raingarden’, part of a Maribyrnong City Council streetscape redevelopment in Leeds Street, Footscray, Australia.
The raingarden’s structure is hidden and therefore difficult for the general public to comprehend. Twenty-two trees are planted along the footpath. Collectively, the trees form a raingarden, which uses local rainfall to wash the streets and water trees. The remaining water is filtered, cleansed and fed into the Maribyrnong River.
HeineJones’s task was to explain the raingarden’s hidden function and intent. Our solution features simple, large-scale word elements laser cut though the 10mm steel plates housing the trees. The abstract words, some of which are presented in Chinese, Vietnamese and Arabic, form part of a poem. The full poem, laser cut into the design at a smaller scale, makes reference to the local Maribyrnong River and describes the rain garden’s function and intent.
The result was so well received that Maribyrnong City Council has used it in all the new rain gardens across the municipality.
A light and a bold weight of Emtype’s Geogrotesque Stencil perform the typographic part of the design. Its rounded corners and stencil shapes perfectly meet the technical demands for lasercutting the metal plates. Together, the cuts of the type, the ripples and what appear to be custom characters/glyphs, form a pleasant pattern, while simultaneously showing what the project is about: a surface that allows water to pass through.