designed by london-based artist laura williams, aluna is the world's first tidal-powered moon clock. Heralded by scientists as a modern-day Stonehenge, the proposed five-story-high and approximately 131-foot-diameter structure will be constructed of three concentric steel rings clad in translucent curved glass. LEDs, located beneath the glass surface, will create the light that moves slowly around each ring, representing the cycles of the moon-the lunar phase, the lunar day, and the ebb and flow of the tide.
The project team is currently looking at tidal sites for Aluna in the United Kingdom-one being London's River Thames-as well as in Australia, which may lead to a dual-hemisphere project. Each structure, estimated to cost between £4 and £5 million (approximately $7.4 and $9.3 million), is being funded through a variety of international resources, including materials and technology sponsorships and donations.
Among its many supporters, the project has received endorsement from U.K.-based Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, which has provided the mathematical data and interface for the project. The team plans to use electricity generated through onsite turbines, located in the water to harness the energy of the tides, to power the LEDs. The sculpture will be illuminated 24 hours a day; however, during daylight hours, when only the sculpture's edges are lit with color, sensors will be used to regulate the color and surface area of illumination.
Jonathan Speirs of London- and Edinburgh-based lighting design firm Speirs & Major Associates is designing Williams's lighting scheme for Aluna, though details will not be available until a feasibility study has been completed. At that point, Aluna will take approximately two years to build. To publicize the project, the IALD is sponsoring a series of education forums in selected U.S. cities throughout September 2006 and in Germany in November. For more information, visit www.iald.org. For detailed information on the Aluna Project, visit www.alunatime.org. A|L