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The Lion, Richlands – bronze lion sculpture

A majestic statement for grand entrance to sports club

As part of a major refurbishment of the Lion Sports Club (The Lion, Richlands), architecture firm Cayas asked Natureworks to create a sculpture for the redesigned, visually stunning entry area. But this was no ordinary entry statement! The architect’s vision was for a majestic lion sculpture set atop a cascading water feature. This concept reflected their intention to create an impressive, highly memorable experience for club visitors.

Lion sculpture – a memorable symbol

A lion is a natural symbol to represent the name of the club and provide a powerful icon that visitors will remember. Known as the king of the jungle, the lion is a symbol of strength and power. The scale of the sculpture, at 3.5 metres high, makes it even more impressive.

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Project details

Selecting the sculpture medium

Initially, the architects proposed the sculpture be manufactured in concrete. However, Natureworks suggested the sculpture be cast in bronze. Why? Because this gave it more value, changing the dynamic of the sculpture from a statue to an art piece. Following our suggestion, the idea was enthusiastically adopted by all as the preferred medium, and the final sculpture in all its glory is a testament to the value of that decision.

Designing and building the bronze lion sculpture

First of all, Natureworks designed concept artwork and 3D drawings for approval by the Cayas architect and client. Next, we started making the sculpture at our factory in China. There, we built a 3.5m high steel armature to form the basic shape. Working from this, we applied modelling clay, following artwork specifications and structural drawings.

Natureworks monitored the sculpting progress throughout, until the general proportions and rough detail were right. At this point, a senior artist from our studio in Australia travelled to China to supervise the aesthetic details of the sculpture.

Casting the sculpture in bronze

When the clay sculpture was perfect, we made a number of re-useable mould sections capable of receiving molten bronze. Once the moulds achieved the recommended curing time, we cast bronze shells from them. Each shell had a designated number and location, so they could be bronze welded together to form the lion sculpture. Our team cut back (chased) all welds, so the joint lines became all but invisible.

Finishing touches

The bronze sculpture (with a finished weight of 1 ton) was then shipped to Brisbane. At this stage, we carried out further detailing and a higher degree of polishing. We then sealed it with a clear coating and transported the sculpture by road to its final resting place at the new Richlands Club.

Project details
Client:The Lion, Richlands
Architect:Cayas Architects, Brisbane
Project: Giant lion sculpture – entry statement for entertainment venue at Richlands
Target audience:Sports Clubs, Business Owners, Club members and visitors
Location:133 Pine Rd, Richlands, Qld 4077 (see map)
Date completed:2017
Related products:Themed entry statements, Lions – entry statements, Giant sitting lion
Related catalogues:Entry Statements, Big Things, Mammals, Natureworks overview brochure
Similar projects:Lantern Lane lions & fitout, Cloud Reef sculpture, Artificial tree in waiting room

Custom entry statements, themed sculptures and big things

This project shows how a unique, beautifully made sculpture can have a real impact, especially as an entry statement. As you can see, first impressions are so important!

As well as designing custom sculptures like this lion, we can draw from our amazing collection of moulds for existing products and adapt them to create new and unique entry statements. Because we have created lots of big things, themed props and animal sculptures, we can enhance your venue, business or tourism attraction in a cost-effective way. But we also love designing custom sculptures just for you!

Interested? Please see more of our project case studies or contact Natureworks if you’d like us to help turn your ideas into reality!

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