UK Residents Voting on ‘Clean Air Mural’ Design

FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2023

Using carbon dioxide absorption paint, a newly renovated building in Southampton will receive what is anticipated to be the United Kingdom’s largest “clean air mural.” Voting is now open for local residents to select the final artwork design.

About the Mural

The mural is part of the 4 million pound (about $4.8 million) transformation of Nelson Gate into “The Bulb,” which is being touted as 155,000 square feet of reimagined workspace. The internal fit-out reportedly includes 40,000 square feet of brand-new Cat A space with exposed ceilings, new LED lighting and energy efficient Bluetooth-controlled VRV air conditioning, new toilets and shower facilities.

According to the announcement from FI Real Estate Management, the mural will span across 1,005 square feet on the outside of the structure. Additionally, work was designed by street artist Neron, who “by mixing floral art in an abstract style, brings the spotlight onto the colors and blooming appeal of the subject.”

It is estimated that the paint will absorb around 65 kilograms of CO2 annually, or the equivalent to three mature adult trees. FI reports that Southampton is one of the top four most polluted ports in Europe, largely due to cruise ship emissions.

“Our aim is for The Bulb to become a real landmark in the city, so it’s really important to us that the people of Southampton and those who travel there to work have a say in what it looks like,” said Tim Knowles, Founder and Managing Director at FI Real Estate Management.

A winning design will reportedly be chosen by the end of march, ahead of work beginning onsite in April. Participants can vote online here or by scanning a QR code artwork created by local artist Will Rosie on the exterior of Nelson Gate.

“The Bulb frames one of our important gateways to Southampton when arriving by train. The ambition is to enliven this space with exciting public art to show off our culturally vibrant city to everyone coming to Southampton,” commented Councilor Sarah Bogle, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Southampton City Council.

Other Eco-Friendly Murals

In October last year, a satellite location of Textile Brewing Company (Dyersville, Iowa) received a unique mural on one of its exterior patio walls.

Made from moss and described by the Cascade Pioneer as a “clean-air machine,” the new artwork lives and breathes at the taproom’s Cascade, Iowa, location. According to the brewery’s website, the mural installation follows a renovation of the structure itself.

The idea for the mural was developed and carried out by Ashley Althoff, Marketing Director for Textile Brewery and Owner of Ashley Althoff LLC. While Althoff describes herself as a “social artist,” she has been known for her involvement in local business marketing, as well as health-guiding and sharing environmentalism practices.

Once Althoff was able to find a moss paint that worked, she asked for permission to install a mural design representative of a beer hop plant. The mural was installed first by hand-drawing the design on the exterior wall with chalk.

After the outline was completed, Althoff filled the design in with a special mixture that would both nurture the moss and help it to stick to the surface.

The artist went on to note that throughout the creation process she had to mist the moss daily in order to keep it damp. However, once the plant is self-sustaining, it could go dormant in the winter and return for the spring and summer seasons.

Two weeks after the first application of the moss paint, Althoff shared that she applied a second coat of the mixture and was intending to apply a third before the end of August to finish the piece, although the summer heat was proving to make the project a little more difficult than anticipated.

Should the moss not take hold, Althoff is planning to try again in 2023. She believes that if the moss isn’t able to take root, it might be due to the direct sunlight, or the fact that it was store-boought moss instead of fresh moss from nature.

In closing, the artist shared that the moss poses no risk of damaging the exterior brickwork.


Tagged categories: Artists; Asia Pacific; Carbon footprint; Color + Design; Color + Design; Commercial Buildings; Decorative Finishes; Design; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Emissions; Environmentally friendly; Green coatings; Latin America; Murals; Murals; North America; Program/Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Upcoming projects; Z-Continents

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