Thursday, 20 August 2009

'Animal Wall' an exciting ecological artwork to be unveiled in Cardiff Bay soon

Charles Church Developments, WYG Planning & Design and Safle are pleased to announce the completion of 'Animal Wall', a site-specific ecological artwork by artist Gitta Gschwendtner.

Animal Wall is part of a 50 metre long wall, running along the south-western edge of Strata, a new residential development in Century Wharf, Cardiff Bay. It can be accessed via the riverside walk leading from Clarence Road towards the city centre.

The environmental impact of Cardiff Bay's extensive development is an ongoing concern and various measures have been taken to mitigate this. The approach take for this artwork is to assist wildlife in the area and encourage further habitation. The new housing development of Century Wharf which provides approximately 1,000 new apartments and houses; Gschwendtner's design for the Animal Wall will match this with about 1,000 nest boxes for different bird and bat species, integrated into the fabric of the wall that separates the development from the adjacent public riverside walk.

Through consultation with an ecologist, four different sized animal homes have been developed, which have been integrated into a custom-made woodcrete cladding to provide an architecturally stunning and environmentally sensitive wall for Century Wharf. The animal wall also transcends the barrier between the private and the public, with the wildlife roaming freely between the two areas.

Artist Gitta Gschwendtner said:

"Following the decline of the natural habitat in Cardiff Bay over recent years, I was very interested in exploring ways to introduce nesting places in my artwork for Century Wharf. I have loved the opportunity to match the number of flats created in the housing development with the number of bird and bat boxes in my design for the Animal Wall."

Century Wharf's architect, Jonathan Vining of WYG Planning & Design, said: "It has been a real pleasure collaborating with Gitta on this project and her site-specific design not only helps to enhance Century Wharf's already strong sense of place, but also provides a modern echo of William Burges's animal wall at Bute Park just up the river."

Wiard Sterk, Safle's Executive Director said: "Over our many years of involvement in the development of Cardiff Bay, we have found various ways of integrating art, contributing aesthetically as well as practically. In this project Gschwendtner has found yet a further innovative expression of artistic engagement in the public realm and this commission by Charles Church Developments is a significant contribution to the overall collection of works in Cardiff".

The Wall will be unveiled on the 26 August 2009.

Safle would like to thank Joyner Group and Consolidated Specialist PreCast Products in realising the 'Animal Wall' and also David Clements Ecology Ltd for their invaluable advise and guidance. Safle is supported by Arts Council of Wales.


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