Solar Gate given the green light

Plans for a bespoke timepiece in Queen’s Gardens have today been given the go-ahead by planning councillors.

 The 10m tall artwork is now set to become the centrepiece of a new, grand entrance to Queen’s Gardens, currently under construction.

Once installed, Solar Gate will act as a sundial, highlighting up to 24 key dates that have shaped the history of Hull and the world.

Created from discs of etched stainless steel, the artwork will be crafted by award-winning architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu and integrated in the new York stone paving now being laid in the area.

Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council said:

“I am really pleased with today’s decision from the Planning Committee who have listened to public views on the previous application, and have agreed that this is the right location and design for this very special sculpture.

“The commissioning of world-class artists and the integration of art and creativity into the public realm will reinforce our reputation as a city of culture, not just in 2017 but for decades to come.”

Mike Tonkin, Tonkin Liu said:

“Tonkin Liu are delighted to be delivering a truly innovative structure in the centre of the city to mark the rich history and positive future of the Hull.

“We are very pleased to be marking 2017 City of Culture with a piece that celebrates time through cultural references to the city of Hull.

“The time piece has been designed through computer programming to create a highly accurate alignment with specific solar angles relating to moments in the cultural calendar tailored to Hull. As with the experience of an eclipse, the waiting for the alignments brings the future, the past, and the present into play.

“At night Solar Gate is illuminated with an ever changing lighting display where its delicacy and undulating geometry is revealed and experienced.

“The advanced technology and the innovative undulating structure employs the latest fabrication techniques to make a deceptively delicate but very robust structure.

“10m tall and 4m wide, the artwork is boat-like in plan, gate-like in elevation, mast-like in side elevation, with a taper to just 10cm. The artwork learns lessons from 500 million years of evolution in sea shell form to make a very strong very light piece produced with the latest digital technologies.”

Work will begin on the sculpture immediately and will be crafted off-site then lifted into place to coincide with the completion of the revamp of the entrance to Queen’s Gardens in the New Year.

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