One of the pinnacle projects undertaken in StoneSet’s career and possibly the largest resin-bound crushed recycled glass paving project in the southern hemisphere!
Entitled “Flower, Sun, Moon, Head’” the 20m wide mosaic was paved using 10 different colours of recycled crushed glass, that been ‘tumbled’ so as to remove any sharp edges and make it safe for people to use as an exercise surface.
StoneSet’s expertise was called upon to execute this large and complex project by mixing rounded glass ‘pebbles’ with StoneSets advanced polyurethane resin. The mix was then ‘screeded’ or trowelled flat into sections formed by large wooden ‘puzzle’ stencil.
WHAT IS A MANDALA?
Mandala (literally translated as ‘circle’) is a term given to a geometric configuration of symbols, in this case colourful shapes as a metaphysical representation of a lotus flower and the cosmos.
The ‘exercise’ mandala sculpture was completed as part of the ‘Wilga Park Upgrade‘, Shrimptons park public art strategy for City of Ryde (City Works & Infrastructure division) municipal council in Sydney, Australia.
Mandala demonstrates architectural form and function by reflecting the rising sun, thus amplifying a transcendental experience. This is especially fitting for more active members of the community, who practice early morning Yoga in the park as a ritual.
City of Ryde summarises the Mandala “A highlight of the upgrade is the installation of two eye-catching artworks named Mandala and Burst. Mandala is an elevated, circular area featuring a dynamic floor mosaic of vibrant colours, while Burst is intended to be an expression of movement and energy.”
Wilga Park offers a very modern experience for all, with state of the art amenities and free Wi-Fi offered as part of the park.
A COMPLEX INSTALLATION
The works for Wilga Park upgrade were completed by Civil Contractors Glascott Landscape and Civil. The design of public art sculptures were the brainchild of architectural designers Artscape. – born out of the Public Art Strategy prepared for Macquarie Park.
The making of this project drew on every ounce of StoneSets’ expertise installing coloured paving – from the attention to detail of our experienced site foreman, to the resin technology StoneSet applies in its advanced resin bound paving system.
The images below demonstrate just how complex it was to “piece the puzzle” together. Working from a complex two dimensional design, each coloured section of the paving needed to be formed by a machined MDF timber stencil. Far from childs’ play, the puzzle arrived on pallets on the back of a truck and had to be pieced together methodically by the install team.
The original Layout for the timber stencil that was piece together to form the coloured sections of the paving
Once the stencil had been laid into place, StoneSet needed to allow for a small gap between each piece and nail these into position once the correct placement had been confirmed.
Being 12m wide, there were often 20 pieces of stencil that had to be aligned perfectly from one side of the circle to the other. The fact there was 5mm gap between each, meant placement had to be perfect – even being millimeters risked causing the circle to look more like an egg, as may gaps meant mistakes could amplify across this very wide area.
POROUS AND PRACTICAL
Soft fall rubber is product used in children’s playgrounds and a practical solution for creating a soft and durable paving surface for these types of applications.
Tumbled glass was used in this situation for a number of reasons – Glass has a longer life span under constant UV exposure and looks more brilliant when reflecting the morning Suns Rays. This was a design factor taken into account when considering the paving alternatives.
Resin bound glass was also chosen for the water porous nature of the paving – Rather than being a sold body, the voids between the glass made it porous to water so the area would not see puddles form after rain.
This made the surface quicker to dry in the mornings, even when there was only dew, making it immediately usable for early morning Yoga sessions and other health and well being activities that occur very early on in the morning.
WHY COLOURED GLASS AND NOT RUBBER?
The use of crushed glass for decorative paving applications is not particularly cutting-edge in its own right. Companies across Australia (and the world) install crushed recycled glass paving regularly, for a number of product applications.
One of glass’ product advantages is its obvious vibrance of colour. This makes glass paving ideal for safety applications, such as clearly defining cycleways, line markings and high visibility logos to improve universal access.
Another key strength of glass paving is longevity and durability. Lower cost solutions in colour paving are attained by incorporating pigments and dies. Fading of colour can often occur with synthetic products such as stamped concrete, coloured coats and sealers.
For this reason glass is often incorporated on Kitchen benches to add sparkle and much like granite, be hard and durable. ‘Bonded’ Glass pebbles are also incorporated into relining in-ground pools, which add a significant colour tinge to the water. Products such as Jewels for Pools use a similar rounded or ‘tumbled’ glass pebble incorporated with cement screed to rejuvenate the old tiled pools.
Blue Glass was used as the line markings for this handball court in the playground at a school in Queensland.