King Street, Twickenham: A Revitalisation Project by Align Design and Architecture

Align Design and Architecture has undertaken a high street regeneration scheme for London-based real estate investor Essential Living in King Street, Twickenham. The components of the scheme range from a new set of shopfront design guidelines for King Street’s existing retailers and any new brands taking on a tenancy on the street’s conjoined parade of shops, together with new street furniture and a new identity/marketing emblem, as well as a striking, large-scale mural located at one end of the retail parade.

The mural is located one of the shopping parade’s gable ends between King Street and Wharf Lane. The ‘Kingfisher’ brand stands proud of the mural.

Identity and Mural

The consultancy began the regeneration project with the development of a new identity, based on the client’s idea of using the kingfisher bird as a central emblem, referencing both the street name and, as the kingfisher is strongly associated with water, the River Thames, which runs close by. The design development of the emblem investigated the best route between a realistic and a more graphic depiction of the bird, whilst the kingfisher’s vibrant plumage then inspired the new colour palette for the shopfront façades.

Branding hoarding, King Street

The final design then became the centrepiece for a 13m-high mural on one of the parade’s gable ends, at the junction between King Street and Wharf Lane (which leads down to the river), which has now been completed. The mural design was created by graphic designer Bobbi Galvin for Align Design and Architecture and was implemented by Graffiti Life, a collective of some of the world’s best creatives, project managers and professional graffiti artists, featuring the work of five painters from Joy Collective.

Mural designed by Bobbi Galvin for Align Design and Architecture and implemented by Graffiti Life

The mural features the words ‘Welcome to King Street’ at the top in aluminium lettering, with a backlit LED light for evening presence. A circular motif, which is also halo-edge-lit at night, depicts a map of the street and the surrounding area, with the River Thames running through the centre. The kingfisher emblem stands proud of the circle, whilst the lines of the river follow the central blue of the bird’s plumage. Flower and plant tendrils then flow loosely in every direction from the central circle.

Shopfront Designs

Design guidelines have now been established for the shopfronts and these will come into being gradually, with individual planning applications submitted for each section of the parade.

New shopfront designs proposed by Align Design and Architecture for King Street, Twickenham

The overall intent was to create a harmonious sense of unity for the parade’s shopfront elevations, through the alignment of key lines and the use of a family of related paint tones which offer up individuality, whilst also forming part of an integrated whole. We sought to ensure that all supporting elements, from benches and bins to planting, bike racks and each individual graphic element, also added to this unified new feel” Nigel Tresise, Director of Align Design and Architecture commented.

The new shopfront façades will feature a stall riser at a newly-uniform level, as well as all door frames at matching height and perfectly-aligned fascia signage, with paintwork featuring a range of blue tones from the new colour palette, inspired by the beautiful natural colouring of the kingfisher. The overall palette ranges from oak and ochre tones to a full spectrum of blues.

Street Furniture

The street furniture element of the scheme has also gone in for planning approval and is comprised of new pale timber benches with integrated Corten steel planters, together with a new paint colour for existing bike racks along the parade.

Flower detail, mural

Rosalyn Rudman, Director of Commercial Asset Management at Essential Living, commented

We are currently investing a significant amount in placemaking across the parade. This includes the new mural, using the kingfisher as an emblem for our section of the high street.

The ambition behind the mural is to add interest to the parade and to mark King Street as its own destination – we believe that King Street well and truly deserves its own character within Twickenham!

Retail high streets across the UK have been severely impacted over the past few years as a result of changing consumer habits and the effects of Covid.

As long-term owners of our buildings, we believe that the right approach to revitalise our high streets is to invest in placemaking initiatives such as these.”


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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