The Rain Bow Gate is designed to improve the public space at the campus entrance and provided a positive and distinct first impression for visitors and residents of Burnley. It is the winning design of an artwork competition organized by Burnley Borough Council. Three perforate arches form a gate that welcomes people from three directions, where three routes converge. The contemporary, bold form and the creative, innovative technology utilised signifies Burnley’s ambition for continuing improvement for the quality of its environment.
The strong three-dimensional form is constructed from flat, laser-cut, 3mm steel sheets. The geometrically strong and ultra-light structure minimises weight and wastage, demonstrating the Shell Lace Structure’s principles, pioneered by Tonkin Liu and engineers at Arup. With beams of sunlight, 133 glass prism inserts cast rainbow-coloured light, whilst projecting coloured light into the mist at night. Rain Bow Gate embraces cutting-edge digital design, engineering, and fabrication tools, appropriately sited here in front of a sixth form college in Burnley, the centre of excellence in advanced manufacturing.