What do you think of the hoardings around Chiswick Health Centre?

Image above: Simon Cohen poses with the hoardings around the building site of the new Chiswick Health Centre; © Matt Smith

Simon Cohen tries to reflect the local area and brighten up the building works

As construction gets underway for the new Chiswick Health Centre, hoardings have gone up around the building site and they will stay up for the next year and a half. But have you noticed the artwork while walking by? Simon Cohen, who designed it, hopes you have – and wants to know what you think.

I met Simon, the Director of Simon Inc Ltd, an independent branding consultancy based in Brentford, to discuss the inspiration behind Chiswick’s newest – if only temporary – mural.

“We work predominantly in the built environment, so we do a lot of work for building projects, we do a lot of work for architectural graphics – that kind of stuff”, Simon told me. In Brentford, where he and I both live, Simon was commissioned by Hounslow Council to create similar artwork which commemorated Brentford’s connection to the River Thames and the local waterways.

“As you know, very central to the Brentford sense of identity is the proximity to the river and the waterways, so I developed the river motif for that application. But also for me, it was really important, we had lost our high street to development some time before lockdown so I really wanted to do something which would make a big impact and make people smile on the High Street when they saw it.”

The design around construction site, Simon says, is rooted in Chiswick’s unique character, celebrating Chiswick Common, Acton Common, and Turnham Green. Simon explained:

“I toned down the colour palette to reflect that and I brought in lots of these illustrations of the trees and the plants in those common areas. We’ve got cherry blossoms, elm, and I think lime as well.”

Simon said the real challenge lay in transcending the mundane and commercial nature of most hoardings across London.

“It should be about the people who live here and have to look at it for the next year and a half” Simon said. “It’s important for me to do something which isn’t about selling properties… It’s more about trying to mitigate the disruption of the building process by giving people something that’s nice and relevant for them to look at every morning.”

Image above: The hoardings around the construction site of the new Chiswick Health Centre; © Matt Smith

“I hope it will bring a smile to people’s faces”

Simon hopes the design resonates locally and makes the area look that bit less like a depressing building site.

“I hope that people will look at it and like it and it will bring a smile to people’s faces and make it a bit less unpleasant”.

The artwork itself spans a vast stretch around the site of the old health centre, which Simon said was a challenge to continuity with the uneven pavement. The panels, constructed from dibond, an aluminum-based material, were printed off-site and assembled on-site. With the environment in mind, once the construction comes to a close, the dibond panels will be sent back for recycling.

How much did it all cost?

“I don’t know how much the construction cost, and I’m not going to divulge how much my fee was, but it’s not as much as it should be that’s all I say!

“The construction cost is quite expensive, the production I wouldn’t know exactly the amount… it’s not a cheap process but it’s gonna be there for like a year at least so in those terms, and in terms of the overall cost of the development it’s minuscule.”

What do you think about the new panels? Email us at info@thechiswickcalendar or matt@chiswickcalendar.co.uk

Construction Chiswick Health Centre has begun as of August 2023 with a vision to provide essential services and housing solutions to Chiswick. The ambitious project, backed by NHS Property Services, the North West London Integrated Care System, and Hounslow Council, will encompass ‘cutting-edge’ healthcare facilities.