ENGINEERING art by the architects who made the Singing Ringing Tree will become a Burnley landscape in the next few days.
The Rain Bow Gate will stand at the corner of Canning Street and Princess Way, across from the new UCLan and College campus, to represent the town’s progressive education, innovation and enterprise culture.
Its structure has been manufactured using traditional and advanced aerospace engineering techniques and is being assembled over five days, like a Meccano set. The thin stainless steel arch will stand 5m high inlayed with 500 glass prisms that create a rainbow effect when the light passes through them. It has already won an architectural award.
The design for the art installation is the result of a competition launched last year as part of the Princess Way Public Realm project with money from the North West European Regional Development Fund matched by cash from Burnley Council, Sustrans and Burnley College. The winning designers, Tonkin Liu, say the arch reflects Burnley’s tradition of advanced manufacturing and engineering and used innovative techniques and materials to inspire future generations. The name comes from Rain, the climate pivotal for the cotton industry, Bow reflects the arches of the railway viaduct and is a highly-efficient structural form, and Gate connects the different parts of Burnley.
Burnley Chief Executive Steve Rumbelow said: “Our vision is to make Burnley a centre of educational excellence, and a regionally significant centre for manufacturing and digital industries. It is important to create modern and innovative business environments and this structure will stand at the gateway to our vision.”