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Five terraced houses in Barrow-in-Furness had previously occupied a now-empty open site. Local residents were asked how they would like to see the area used, and unanimously supported the choice of an area for children.
The brief given to Steve Kyle at Capita Symonds was to design an area that would allow young children to play in a safe environment, while their parents could sit and watch. It also stipulated that no playground equipment was to be included, as it was thought this could be prone to vandalism and encourage older children to congregate.
Turning the design into reality led Steve Kyle to consider different options, including block paving that would be cut to produce the desired designs, and coloured, sea-washed cobbles set in concrete. However, having seen the intricate design detailing that could be produced with SureSet, he decided to use it for the entire surface. His specification decision was also influenced by the guarantee that no stones would become loose (as the resin bound system completely impregnates the raw material).
From over 1,000 formulation options, thirteen colours were selected, including crushed glass, crushed rock, crushed marble, black silica-free slag and crushed granite. The system's use of crystal clear resin serves to enhance the raw materials, giving a colourful vibrancy to the whole area.
Both Barrow Borough Council and residents are delighted with the outcome. Steve Kyle also feels the project has been a great success, transforming a piece of wasteland into an attractive and popular public amenity. The local children find the designs exciting and stimulating and when viewed from an adjacent bridge, the project is seen as a piece of public art by the local community.
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