Rain Bow Gate
PRINCESS WAY GATEWAY, 2012
after the rain comes the rainbow
burnley is a destination once again
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.
Three gateways welcome people from three directions, where three routes converge.
The rain drums on the thin steel roof as it channels into the ground, while 133 prisms
capture sunlight and array it in a full colour spectrum on the ground. At night, the
prisms are lit from below, casting rainbows into the mist.
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.
Architects Tonkin Liu
Client Burnley Borough Council
Location Burnley, UK
Budget £ 121,000
Structural Engineer Arup
Fabrication Mike Smith Studio
Completion February 2012
Exhibitions Royal Academy
Awards RIBA Award, RIBA North West Small Project of the Year