Plaspanel puts other panel products on ice

6 Jul 2008 10:05 AM - Multipurpose plastic panel for furniture
Creating public space furniture that is flexible, durable, environmentally responsible and can handle extreme cold and moisture, all from one panel product - is a fair challenge. That was the brief to designer Edie Kurzer when she was commissioned to create new tables and seating using Plaspanel® for the Olympic Ice Skating Centre in Melbourne.

Edie had previously created outdoor furniture using Plaspanel recycled plastic panel for Furnitex. She knew the product's strengths, durability and limitations. Given free reign, apart from the material and the blue and off-white colour scheme Edie set to work to devise the 'Ice' furniture that would slot together and be movable for flexibility. For the style of the furniture, Edie found inspiration in old diners with curved, organic shaped booths and tables, typical to the vernacular of skating rinks of the past. She gave this style a modern edge with Plaspanel inlays, cut-outs in the seat backs and a durability that will stand the test of time.

'Something like chipboard would just get trashed in this environment' says Edie. Plaspanel is waterproof so it does not rot, swell, delaminate, deteriorate or absorb moisture – which is fairly important for an ice skating rink. The non-stick surface cleans easily, is coloured all the way through and is difficult to graffiti. It is rustproof, chemical, bacteria and mould resistant. This durability makes Plaspanel perfect for outdoor and high traffic areas. Best of all, Plaspanel is easy to work with and can be cut, routered, drilled, welded and mechanically fixed with standard tools.

But the most impressive element for Edie is that Plaspanel is a 'closed-loop' recycled product - the panels are manufactured from recycled products and can themselves be recycled. And at an ice rink it's quite fitting that it goes around and around.