Creative
lighting design
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
michael-grubb-studio_swansea-lagoon-01
Portfolio / Special Projects
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Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant.

Twice a day, each day, the Atlantic Ocean surges up on to the UK’s Continental Shelf and around our coastline. This creates one of the highest tidal ranges in the world. An untapped energy source with huge potential.

The pioneering scheme will see a six mile man-made breakwater wall built out from the coast that fills up and empties with the tides, which is set to create electricity via the hydro turbines for 155,000 homes in the city over the next 120 years.

Michael Grubb Studio worked with landscape architects LDA Design to develop initial lighting recommendations that would support the overall landscape strategy (and subsequent planning application).

We also worked with Juice Architects to develop concept lighting proposals for the newly proposed Visitor Centre.

What We Did

The site is located between a dark sky zone and Port Talbot – recognised as the highest light pollution area in the UK (and the inspiration for the backdrop of film Blade Runner).

Our approach was to develop a narrative that supported the nature and science of the project, whilst respecting and protecting surrounding ecology.

The lighting concept for the Visitor Centre revolved around the idea of educating the public on the unique relationship between our moon and ocean tides. We also looked at celebrating the process when the plant is operational.

Michael Grubb’s experience with London 2012 Olympic Park and his subsequent role as the Olympic Delivery Authorities ‘Learning Legacy Ambassador for Lighting’ was hugely relevant to this project. The main consideration focused on how artificial light could effect the natural environment.

Working with ecologists we targeted areas where light was either an operational requirement or was needed to support the narrative and educational experience after dark. This was particularly important when considering the safety of those travelling around with a 2km route towards the newly proposed Visitor Centre.