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City marketing: also think of street art on transformer houses and cabinets

Street art is a comprehensive term. And what you can bring back to the street art is at least as comprehensive. The city of Heerlen is now quite well known that a few years ago they focused on having large murals made as a form of city marketing. However, the public space offers many more possibilities for the use of street art.

Transformer houses, electricity houses, pumping stations and waste containers in all shapes and sizes. They are objects that are often daubed and/or pasted, while these are objects that can beautify the neighborhood when a well-thought-out work of art is applied.

An electricity house without posters and graffiti

Until about ten years ago, transformer houses were occasionally sprayed or painted on behalf of a municipality or energy supplier. Nowadays street art is more and more part of it city ​​marketing plan. At home and abroad, you can follow a street art route in more and more cities in which the visitor can view murals, large murals, through different neighborhoods in the city. Or where your attention is drawn to small, usually not immediately visible, artistic interventions in the street scene.

Part of this street art itineraries can also be beautifully crafted electricity houses. Untreated, these are often daubed or covered with posters. Beautiful, decorated houses and cupboards have a preventive anti-graffiti effect and far fewer posters are pasted over a work of art. Much more often they remain untouched, which keeps the streetscape neater, tidier and more beautiful.

Subsidized street art on transformer houses

For street art, there are usually subsidy options from the municipality. As a result, there has been a proliferation of street art projects in the cities. Big money is made from this, but it often seems that the implementation is not well thought out. A handy 'man' or local street art initiative comes up with a project, offers it to a municipal council, is awarded the subsidy and then the implementation takes place. Sometimes by a third party, who is flown in and receives only a meager percentage of the actual subsidy amount.

It also happens that one or more artists are given the freedom to indulge in a transformer house or cabinet. The result is diverse styles and colors without the client, who can also be an electricity manager, having any influence on the end result. It remains to be seen to what extent it will fit into the streetscape. We find, as a professional graffiti agency, that this can be done better and that the works of art must be attuned to, for example, the environment or history of the area and not to the style of a random artist.

Painted electricity house in Rijswijk.

Painted electricity house in Rijswijk.

Integrating electricity houses into the streetscape

There are approximately 100.000 transformer houses in the Netherlands in various shapes and sizes. And the number is growing, because in Amsterdam people expect the number transformer houses to double in the years to 2050. With the right approach, these can often integrate beautifully into the environment.

As stated earlier in this article, our paintings have an anti-graffiti effect. By having a beautiful painting made on an object with graffiti nuisance, you kill 2 birds with 1 stone. More about our anti-graffiti projects.

When we receive a request for, for example, a painting on an electrical box or house, we always look at the environment. And of course we discuss the expectations with the client. Decorating a house in a green environment with graphic surfaces, lots of bright colors and sharp lines is a shame. It doesn't fit, it actually detonates in the environment. While such a building can be integrated into the environment in a beautiful and subtle way.

For example, we painted an electricity house in a park in Rijswijk. The assignment description contained the wish for a bookcase, otherwise the execution was free. By using a lot of fresh greenery, flowers and animals, it no longer stands out as being a transformer house and it gives the already green environment something extra to look at. At a football club in Zetten, we sprayed electrical boxes against the wall in the house style of the club, making it suitable for the club and even an extra landmark.

The transformer house as a neighborhood participation project

The demand for decorating a boring or even ugly electricity house, pumping station or waste container sometimes comes from residents. In that case, the municipality or manager must of course agree, after all, they are responsible for the structures. The municipality can have it painted or sprayed from a transformer house can also be used as a neighborhood participation project.

In that case, people from the neighborhood can send in ideas. In our experience, that works well. Of course, the client can set conditions for this. Such as the color scheme, the theme or a specific subject. Suppose a house is located in a neighborhood whose street names have bird names, is it not a crazy idea to add that theme to the painting to link.

In Hoek van Holland we painted a small electricity house which used to be a thorn in the side of a resident who looked directly at it from her home. Now the house depicts beach, sea, sky and birds. The assignment was ultimately given by the municipality of Rotterdam and the children from the neighborhood were even able to help make the artwork. View this project in our extensive portfolio.

Another form of neighborhood participation is that we set up the sketch and that people from the neighborhood can color in pieces. Of course what we do, street art, graffiti, paintings, murals and much more, is a profession. So there is a limit to the contributions that are possible. Nevertheless, if the end result is beautiful and satisfactory and local residents have gotten to know each other better through the project, that is a double result.

Natural images to camouflage a transformer house

As mentioned before, in a street art initiative subsidized by the municipality, the designs often shoot in all directions. Because artists who are hired for it often get carte blanche. In that case, there are not many other options. You will receive a design in the style of the chosen or assigned artist and customization is not possible. We do not like that and think that the design, for example for a work of art, is electricity housesmust be tailored to the wishes of the residents, location and the environment of the object.

A design must fit in with the environment and above all it must be in line with what the client wants. So we work differently. Graffitinetwerk is a company with professional artists and performers. This means that we make what the client wants. When a city, municipality or energy supplier places an order with us for painting transformer houses or cabinets, we come to something together. We almost always recommend natural elements. so that it artwork fits into the environment and that it doesn't get cluttered. This increases the quality of life in the neighborhood and the appearance of the district.

Preventing additions with container art?

We started this one blog with the comment that the public space offers so many more possibilities than just walls and electricity houses. Also consider art on garbage containers and waste containers. Municipalities struggle with people who place waste, glass or furniture next to the containers instead of in them, the so-called additions or adjacent waste. With art on the containers, they become a lot more attractive and the design can also ensure that less waste is placed next to the containers. In our portfolio you can see more projects with which we addition try to prevent.

Waste containers, transformer houses, electrical boxes against external walls in all sizes or pumping stations in residential areas, these are all objects that are often daubed and/or covered. While they are all objects that can beautify the neighbourhood. We try, among other things with our container art, to allow the concrete or steel elements to blend in with the environment. That means that you camouflage it nicely and fun with natural elements. Hide more than accentuate. This makes the environment calmer.

Would you like to know more about street art on transformer houses and cabinets?

Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions or would you like to discuss the options immediately and request a quote? Or do you want to order make a mural† Please feel free to contact one of our specialists. We like to think along about how we can turn your electricity house, transformer houses, pumping station or waste container into a suitable art object.

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