Future Flower

This artwork was part of the regeneration of the Widnes Waterfront area of the River Mersey, a post-industrial stretch of the river which had been badly contaminated from 150 years of heavy industrial use.

The giant galvanised steel flower, 14m tall and 4.5m in diameter, was conceived as a symbol of renewal. The head of the flower is constructed from a combination of triangles and pentagons to form an icoso-dodecahedron. Folded and perforated galvanised sheets form the petals. The leaves are small wind turbines which power LED lights, their intensity varying with wind speed.

A steel tube stem cantilevers up, stiff enough to deal with wind, but the whole structure was designed to have sufficient flexibility to create a dynamic object. Connections were designed for fatigue to cope with this.

A shallow raft was used to found the structure in the marsh adjacent to the river, with no disturbance to the contaminated layer of ground beneath.