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Atkins joins design team for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

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Atkins Global has been appointed to provide design and engineering support for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

Proposals already lodged for Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay propose creating an 11.5km2 lagoon by installing a 9.5km sea wall containing tide-powered turbines below water level and marine-park attractions above.

The scheme, which was masterplanned by LDA Design, includes a 4,000m2 watersports centre and oyster hatchery designed by FaulknerBrowns, and a visitor centre by Juice Architects.

Atkins has been hired to produce outline designs for the breakwater, turbine house and ancillary works.

It will also support the tender processs for the appointment of a design and build contractor ahead of the start of construction, expected next spring.

Mike McNicholas, managing director of Atkins’ UK design and engineering business, said the scheme combined a wide range of disciplines from building services, power and architecture to structural and marine engineering.

‘It is a world first and something which will make a positive difference to people in the UK and possibly further afield,’ he said.

‘As designers and engineers, these are the things that make us get out of bed in the morning and it’s great to be part of the team.’

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay PLC’s proposals are currently undergoing evaluation ahead of a decision at Welsh-government level.

Once complete it said the scheme would generate 320MW of electricity – enough to power 155,000 homes.

Previous story (AJ 05.02.14)

FaulknerBrowns reveals plans for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

FaulknerBrowns has released its masterplan for the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay, the world’s first, manmade, energy-generating lagoon, which includes a water sports centre and oyster hatchery

According to the practice, the main 4,000m² building was inspired by ‘traditional fishing warehouses and boat houses’.

The centre will include operational and maintenance facilities, boat storage, changing areas, a greenhouse for algae cultivation and an oyster hatchery.

Mike Hall of FaulknerBrowns said: ‘The project is a great opportunity to harness the infrastructure of green energy production for the social benefits of recreational watersports activities.’

The scheme forms part of the masterplan for the lagoon area drawn up by LDA Design, which also features a visitor centre designed by London-based Juice Architects.

The man-made Swansea Bay energy-generating tidal lagoon will provide enough electricity to power 70 per cent of Swansea Bay’s annual domestic electricity use.

Previous story (AJ 28.01.14)

Juice Architects unveils designs for Swansea Bay visitor centre

London-based Juice Architects has revealed designs of their visitor centre for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

Sited at the end of the lagoon’s seawall, the offshore centre will provide a cultural and leisure space for visitors to the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon. It will include public galleries, a café, lecture theatre, educational rooms and an exhibition space.

The form of the 3,500m² centre reflects the natural form and features of an oyster.

The man-made Swansea Bay energy-generating tidal lagoon will provide enough electricity to power 70 per cent of Swansea Bay’s annual domestic electricity use. The visitor centre scheme will give views of the Bay’s tidal power generators through a glass floor in the gallery space.

The centre is expected to complete in 2018.

Juice Architects Swansea

The architect’s view

Our iconic design responds to the challenging marine environment some 3.5 kilometres out into Swansea Bay, to create a building that expresses the potential of the ocean and represents the clean renewable energy to be generated whilst also reflective of the bay’s heritage. The design and materials are deliberately tactile – the rugged outer-shells contrast dramatically with the interior which will be a place of wonder with natural light being reflected off the pearlescent curved walls creating a stimulating environment for visitors to enjoy the educational, cultural and leisure activities the centre offers.

The eye catching and dynamic concept comprises a series of overlapping shells which are sculpted to form an attractive bowl like structure. The outer wall alignment will provide shelter from wind and waves and is finished in highly textured concrete with tall windows like fissures between the shells,  permitting key views around the Bay. The internal curved walls will be pearlescent in finish, echoing the oyster concept and contrasting the outer surfaces and will reflect the natural light pouring into the structure. The structural soffit of the roof will be of timber construction.

Areas of the roof are designed to provide a natural ecological base for wildlife to inhabit forming an educational roof garden for visitors. The building will be self-sufficient with all energy required being captured from renewable sources or transferred through recycling waste energy as a by-product of the turbines including solar panels on the roof.  

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