UK: new pier gates in Sunderland get a touch of glass

One of the UK“s north-eastern coastlines is undergoing a major revamp, which also includes the new landmark pier gates for the Wearside town of Sunderland“s seafront.
The gates, made of glass and s…

One of the UK“s north-eastern coastlines is undergoing a major revamp, which also includes the new landmark pier gates for the Wearside town of Sunderland“s seafront. The gates, made of glass and stainless steel, designed by artist Fiona Heron, will be installed later this year to replace the decaying prison-like“ gates at the historic Grade II-listed Roker Pier. Ms. Heron visited Architectural Metalworkers in Washington“s Crowther Industrial Estate, where co-director Martin Riches and his team are making her Lightwave“ design an engineering reality. It“s always very rewarding to see your design at this stage, coming to fruition, said Ms. Heron. I“m really pleased with how the gates are progressing. We“ve been working really closely together to achieve the concept and it“s really good to see them coming together now and the glass being fixed in place. It“s the culmination of a lot of time and work. The design will feature stainless steel bars with different finishes and at various angles to create an optical illusion resembling a wave. Glass prisms will be fitted to catch the light, as well as being a nod to the lighthouse, while a porthole will frame the historic landmark, streaming through the sunlight. We“ve tried to make it a sustainable design which will last, she said. The finish is on the steel itself, so it won“t need to be painted. Riches said the design and manufacturing work was robust enough to stand up to vandalism and heavy use, adding that the firm was able to source most of its services and suppliers including the water-jet cutters from within the Wearside area. I think these will be fantastic, deputy council leader Harry Trueman said. People who took part in the consultation were very enthusiastic about having new gates to improve the appearance of the pier and lighthouse, and Fiona“s design was the most popular by far with both the public and the selection panel. The seafront at Roker and Seaburn is one of our greatest assets and the funding for the new gates has come from money the council secured from the Government“s Sea Change fund, which is a real bonus. Sunderland was awarded GBP 1 million from the Commission for the Built Environment (CABE) in 2009 to revamp Roker“s Marine Walk. The gate project will cost GBP 75,000 and the structure will be installed once essential maintenance work is completed at the pier.