A team of specialists has set to work on the installation of a 10-metre-tall stainless steel structure that will welcome visitors to Queens Gardens. Standing proudly in the entrance of the gardens, Solar Gate is the brainchild of award-winning architects Tonkin Liu and has been developed by local businesses Pearlgreen Engineering and Sovereign Signs as part of Hull City Council’s £25 million public realm scheme.
Installing the structure is no mean feat, with a flat-bed lorry, police escort and two cranes required to deliver it to its new home. Alongside the installation, work will begin on new paving and a decorative steel ring that will surround the sculpture.
The finishing touch will be the addition of 16 steel plates engraved with key dates in Hull’s history surrounding Solar Gate. It is expected that the work will take several weeks to complete, but once installed the sculpture should cast beautiful shadows over the park by day and will be artistically lit by night.
Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Stephen Brady said: “Solar Gate will be a fantastic addition to the great work already done to create a grand new entrance into Queen’s Gardens. Not only is Solar Gate totally unique, it’s an incredibly clever concept that Tonkin Liu have developed.
“Big thanks must go to Hull company Pearlgreen Engineering for taking on this challenging project and doing an amazing job. It’s great to know that local hands have created this new piece of public art that will no doubt become an iconic city feature.”
Solar Gate is the latest addition to a host of new public realm artworks, including Shane Rhodes’ poem The City Speaks which encircles the newly-installed fountains in Queen Victoria Square.
Later in the year, residents and visitors to the city centre can also look forward to a new artistic lighting project by Nayan Kulkarni, the man behind the iconic Blade installation which saw a 75-metre wind turbine blade hoisted into Queen Victoria Square.