Barnshaws slides in to provide curved metal for Coventry’s new waterpark
Published: 27 August 2020 - Rachael Morling
Coventry’s new water park, The Wave, is contained in a curved oval shaped structure with blue shingles, a reference to flowing water, on the outside. The £36.7 million park designed by architects FaulknerBrowns offers residents access to spa and fitness facilities, with its curved aesthetic owed in part to the metal bending expertise of Barnshaws Section Benders, who precision curved rectangular hollow section (RHS) and parallel flanged channels (PFC) to support the curved steel structure.
Barnshaws was approached by contractor Billington Structures to deliver approximately 120 curved RHS and PFC sections in various sizes within a timeframe of four weeks. Billington Structures selected Barnshaws due to its expertise in mandrel steel bending, which allows RHS to be curved to tight radii without causing kinks in the section, harming its structural performance. The PFC sections were rolled to attain the same curved aesthetic. Operating a wide selection of state-of-the-art mandrel bending machines, Barnshaws offered the expertise and machine capacity to deliver the sections on time.
The Wave is now fully open to the public with six slides. Highlights include the foreboding Torrent, the most intimidating water slide at the site, and the Rapids, which utilises powerful jets of water to send bathers uphill into a ‘water-coaster’. Lights and speakers will round off what promises to be a heady experience for fans of water sports. The project was led by Coventry City Council.
Andy Tura, structural sales engineer at Barnshaws, said: “Incorporating organic curves into structures in built up areas can greatly improve the aesthetic of the neighbourhood, especially if it’s a building for public use such as The Wave. Modern architectural designs must stand out and enhance the value of the area, and precision curved metal is the optimum construction element to attain this aesthetic. Our track record in metal bending means that we can meet this market requirement.”