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Officially opened to the public in 2001, the Cardiff Bay Barrage created a freshwater lake with over 13km of waterfront and was the catalyst for the regeneration of the old docklands of Cardiff and Penarth.
The landscaped embankment provides an attractive promenade where the public can view the estuary and Cardiff Bay. It is also home to 'The Age of Coal', an outside exhibition that celebrates the historical link between Cardiff and the Valleys. The Red Welsh Dragon, a centuries-old emblem of the Welsh people, was a very important part of that link, and thus had to form part of the Barrage landscaping.
For such an intricate design, a range of colour finishes with proven durability was paramount. This led Harbour Authority Operations Manager, Roger Thorney, to specify the SureSet resin bound surfacing system to achieve the desired result.
From over 1,000 SureSet formulations available, 'The Age of Coal' Dragon uses natural aggregates and recycled glass in a variety of colours. The crystal-clear resin enhances the colour of the raw materials, with the versatility of SureSet enabling intricate patterns to be designed and built for the Dragon emblem.
For the Dragon's construction, 3mm Bright Red recycled glass created the main body, with natural gravel for the surrounding areas. The eyes use 3mm Black and elsewhere 4mm Green, 4mm Grey and 3mm Dark Terracotta complete the stunning effect.
Because of the strong contrast between the principle colours, the edging had to be totally accurate; a metal strip was therefore incorporated which enhanced the over-all appearance and coal bands were laid directly up to one another without edging to provide subtle colour changes.
The Harbour Authority Operations Manager, Roger Thorney, said: "The Age of Coal Dragon is a clear reminder of our region's heritage, and the choice of colours was critical to its success. The selection of SureSet ensured a consistent, accurate and durable finish for this very popular project”.
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