Children climb on and through the belly, gills and mouth of the catfish, designed by architects at Haizlip Studio in Memphis and fabricated by 1220 Exhibits in Nashville, Tenn. Trex Transcend® decking in Spiced Rum, Gravel Path and Rope Swing was chosen because of its durability, low-maintenance requirements and curvability. The boards, attached to a steel frame, were used to create the body of the catfish and the flooring. The head is cast concrete.
"We stretched the material to its greatest elasticity," said Reb Haizlip, partner at Haizlip Studio.
While the structure's floor was designed in a simple wave pattern, the boards that make up the body of the catfish were heated in a special oven and then bent and twisted simultaneously, a complex and unusual application.
Choosing Trex was a "no-brainer," said project manager Eric Berg of 1220 Exhibits. "It was the perfect application for the design," he said.