Case Study

Network Rail's design office benefits from magnetic walls

Network Rail asked us to help them create an area that encouraged creativity and allowed team members to work together more collaboratively.

Room for flexibility

Our vision for the new and improved design office was to create an area with plenty of room for flexibility. Employees needed a collaborative space to map repair work, plot proposed new routes across the network, and even come up with new electrical designs. These tasks can require drawings many metres in length, which can’t be easily visualised on a computer screen or on small-scale printouts.

The previous design office had large whiteboards installed on the walls, but these did not provide the necessary space for designs to be effectively developed and revised.

A magnetic solution

Our innovative ThistlePro Magnetic plaster was the perfect solution. We applied it to several walls in the design office to turn them into magnetised surfaces, allowing documents to be temporarily attached and moved as needed. Clear lacquer paint was also used to create a wipe-clean surface that can be written on and amended when required.

Garry Bimpson, Senior Architectural Technologist, explained: “When creating the space, we wanted to develop a workplace that would engage our employees and support them in their day-to-day roles which, by their very nature as designers, are incredibly creative.

“Using ThistlePro Magnetic plaster has allowed us to do just that, and the office is now geared towards a collaborative and productive way of working. The plaster and lacquer paint on the walls provide large, re-usable surfaces ideal for developing and amending live large-scale technical designs that all our team members can view and add to straight away. Being able to easily map out ideas in such an interactive way during brainstorms means we don’t need to continually feed into computer documents or share printouts, saving the team a lot of time.”

The project has been such a success that Network Rail has now installed ThistlePro Magnetic plaster in both its Derby and Edinburgh offices as well. There are also further projects planned across its other sites.

We care about building better. 


Project name
Network Rail design office
Project completion date
Building type
Retrofit & Refurbishment