Urban designer and public space artist Richard Lester Swain has won planning approval for a major landmark sculpture from Chesterfield Borough Council. The scheme will not only be the biggest piece of public art in the UK but also the world's largest operational, solar-driven timepiece. The Solar Pyramid's design incorporates three blades of steel, triangular in section, planted in an elliptical piazza 30m x 40m.
The blades are formed by a lattice-based structure clad in a polished stainless-steel shell. Construction on the £350,000 work is scheduled to start on a site adjacent to the M1 motorway early in the autumn, and the opening ceremony is planned, appropriately enough, for next year's summer solstice. Swain, whose previous works include the decorative gateways in London's China Town, hopes the project will help reinvigorate an area that has been depressed since the local coal and steel industries collapsed.