Giant ‘flower’ emerges next to Mersey

A 14-metre high wind-powered illuminated 'flower' has been built on the banks of the River Mersey in Widnes.

The Widnes Future Flower has 120 metallic petals that will flutter in the wind and will be illuminated by 60 low-powered LEDs in various shades of red with their intensity varying depending on the wind's strength and direction. The unique structure will be officially launched at an event on 29 March.

Although work on site was programmed to last for a total of five weeks, the art installation was erected by specialist fabricators Mike Smith Studios in only three days, with supervision from the appointed main contractor, Cheetham Hill Construction.

Designed by architects Tonkin Liu through an international competition funded by the NWDA, the Widnes Future Flower is part of the ongoing Widnes Waterfront Regeneration Programme. Widnes Waterfront involves the regeneration of over 200 acres of former industrial land on the banks of the River Mersey into a modern business park environment and associated leisure facilities.

Anna Liu, director of Tonkin Liu, said: "It is great for us to see the Future Flower rising out of the river bank halfway between industry and nature. The view of the Mersey with the Silver Jubilee Bridge in the distance with the wind-blown reeds in the foreground make a beautiful location.

"We designed the giant flower to draw people to the waterfront. During the day the silver flower will reflect the ever-changing light of the expansive sky and as the sky darkens the flower will glow red to herald the power of the wind. The future flower celebrates the regeneration of the area and encourages visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the Widnes Waterfront."

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