based in hexham, northumberland, differentia designs interpretation for outdoor spaces including interpretation panels, interpretive structures, seats and signs.

Allen Valleys Interpretation - industrial heritage realised

Allen Valleys Interpretation - industrial heritage realised

We have been working on this project for around a year now and at last we have been able to install the interpretation panels. The industrial heritage was a complex story and one that has involved a very intricate re-telling of the story of lead mining and the realisation of the industrial processes that enabled the mining to take place.

Allendale Smelt Mill interpretation panel

The main focus has been the Allendale Smelt Mill and the Allenheads Mine Floor. For these two interpretation panels we commissioned Bob Marshall to produce the two reconstruction illustrations. And in the words of Bob were:

The task of reconstructing the lead smelting mill took us several months and is to date, one of the most complicated visual reconstruction projects I have attempted, requiring the use of 3D computer modelling to plot the locations of the various buildings, sheds and complex network of flues designed to carry the highly toxic lead fumes away from the site.
— http://www.bob-marshall.co.uk/2018/01/reconstructing-our-industrial-past.html

Allenheads Mine Floor interpretation panel

This is a challenging location with some severe weather, frost and snow often! We chose Lavastone panels for the interpretation panels - this is highly vandal resistant, but more importantly it is a natural material that enhances the landscape as well as surviving in frost and salt laden locations. We expect these panels to last for decades rather than years. The material for the panels is quarried from the Volvic mountains and we visited the manufacturer who makes these in Toulouse last year - see more about this material and the manufacturer Empreinte Signs here.

But it is not just the panels that concern us - for this project we wanted an ornate stand for the panels to sit on and thanks to the waterjet facility of Empreinte Signs we were able to get a really beautiful lectern made which carry the interpretation signs.

Natural Wayfinding

Natural Wayfinding

Made in stone - Interpretation that is designed to last.

Made in stone - Interpretation that is designed to last.