A government-commissioned review backing plans for a £1.3 billion tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay has been welcomed by architects on the project
Former energy minister Charles Hendry’s independent review of tidal lagoons found there was evidence they could play an effective role in the UK’s energy mix.
‘The aim now is that we should move to secure the pathfinder project as swiftly as possible, so the learning opportunities it offers can be maximised,’ Hendry said.
Tidal Lagoon Power’s 320MW pathfinder project in Swansea Bay would be a world first, with 16 turbines on a 10km breakwater generating power from the sea. It is hoped construction will start next year.
London-based Juice Architects, which revealed its design for an offshore visitor centre for the project in 2014, welcomed Hendry’s support for the scheme.
‘We are absolutely delighted, not just necessarily as architects, but we think it’s a fantastic opportunity for the country to provide … renewable energy,’ said Juice principal Paul Newman. ‘As a scheme, it’s a real pathfinder and a world first.’
He added: ‘I hope the government will be persuaded by the report … and give the scheme the green light.’
The 3,500m² visitor centre, the design of which is inspired by an oyster, will house public galleries, a café, a lecture theatre, education rooms and an exhibition space. It will be situated on the lagoon wall, 3.5km out into the Severn Estuary.
FaulknerBrowns has designed a 4,000m2 watersports centre and oyster hatchery for the lagoon, inspired by ‘traditional fishing warehouses and boat houses’.
LDA Design has created the masterplan for the lagoon.