51 LOCKS

THE BRIEF

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (MTCBC) wanted to place a modern piece of interpretive artwork adjacent to the Taff Trail and the Rhyd-y-Car linkway.

OUR RESPONSE

Initial concepts were developed that included metal posts to represent the locations of the canal locks, spread over a large grassed area, however, following a spate of metal theft in the area, mid way through this process, the Council were keen to use other materials and specified glass. This necessitated a re-working of the original concept into the final artwork.

The artwork represents the 51 locks that used to be found along the old Glamorganshire Canal, linking Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff. It is located adjacent to one of the disused locks on the Taff Trail. The artworks modern and minimalist appearance has been created from recycled glass ceramic. It forms a stylised fan of glass blocks which descend to the base of the structure mimicking the stepped drop from the canal head in Merthyr to the Sea lock in Cardiff bay.

The artwork is illuminated at night which transforms the appearance of the piece and adds movement through the use of an automated coloured lighting scheme.

This project involved full project management from its initial concept, through the planning process, managing building contractors laying the foundations, stonework and the final installation.

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