Sculpture
Rainbowgate Tonkinliu 22

Rain Bow Gate

Single Surface Structure, 2012

Architect: Tonkin Liu
Client: Burnley Borough Council
Location: Burnley, UK
Budget: £121,000
Engineer: Arup
Fabrication: Mike Smith Studio
Royal Academy Exhibition 2011
RIBA Award 2013
RIBA North West Small Project of the Year 2013

Burnley was the first place in the UK to record its rainfall. Pivotal to its industrial past, the rain filled the rivers, the rivers powered the first mills, the moist air kept the cotton supple for weaving. After the decline of the mills, the Burnley region developed into a centre for precision engineering and advanced manufacturing.

Rain Bow Gate 05
Rainbowgate Tonkinliu 21
Rainbowgate Tonkinliu 01 Gs

The bow of a rainbow is the most simple and dynamic natural geometry, structurally efficient due to its curvature. The pioneering structural principles of Shell Lace now sit in front of the college in Burnley, where future designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs are nurtured. After the rain comes the rainbow, a fitting symbol for optimism, regeneration and learning in Burnley.

Rainbowgate Tonkinliu 08 Gs
Rainbowgate Tonkinliu 09 Gs

after the rain comes the rainbow,
burnley is whole again

Rainbowgate Tonkinliu 12
Rain Bow Gate 14

Rainbowgate Tonkinliu 11