Designed by artist Laura Williams as a place of celebration and connection, Aluna is the world’s largest Moon and Tide Clock. Larger than Stonehenge at 40m wide and 13m high, the structure is made up of three vast translucent recycled glass rings that track the Moon’s cycles and influences on the Earth with slowly moving light.
Sustainably built and powered naturally by the Sun and the Moon’s tides, Aluna unites art, science, culture and the environment, and is an ever-changing reminder of the natural cycles that have shaped our past and will determine our future.
Creating an immersive VR experience
Ramboll is providing multi-disciplinary engineering support on this ambitious and challenging cantilever superstructure. Utilising cutting edge technology and digital design, an immersive VR experience using Google Cardboard has been created to explore this dynamic installation. Several 3D 360° visualisations of Aluna were created to show the workings of the tide cycle and lighting, bringing the waterside landmark to life. View here.
Ramboll’s engineering simulation team have created a bespoke panorama viewer, RAMView360, allowing users to experience full 360° panoramas with zooming, sharing specific views and the ability to switch viewing positions or display different datasets (such as BIM models, spherical photography or analysis results), all in a web browser on desktop or mobile devices. View here.
Increasingly in the design of tall buildings and complex structures, and the planning of urban developments, the wind environment is numerically simulated using a technique known as computational fluid dynamics (CFD). CFD allows for atmosphere parameters such as pressure, velocity and temperature to be predicted. In conjunction with 3D models of the structures surrounding city scape, climate data and wind patterns can be predicted with pressures on facades and wind velocities at street level can be accurately calculated and used in the design. A greater understanding of wind behaviour can improve the efficiency of structures and help to enhance conditions within the urban realm.
The results of Aluna’s CFD engineering analysis can be virtually experienced using RAMView360, allowing a better understanding of performance and ensuring informed design decisions of the very highest quality are made. View here, click the second icon down 'Change content' to view different CFD analysis results.
This work is currently helping to secure funding for the final development stages of Aluna, including detailed planning permission and construction.
The National Oceanography Centre has designed Aluna’s master time code to tell the world’s most accurate lunar time. Aluna’s geometry relates precisely to its function and is unique to its Greenwich Meridian location.
Aluna will showcase the best in regenerative design, innovation and engineering: built from 100% recycled glass and steel, illuminated by low energy LEDs, powered by the Sun and Moon using onsite solar panels and tidal turbines, upgradeable for future generations, and eco-engineered to enhance the Thames habitat.
Facing South, Aluna is aligned with the polar coordinates and is perfectly placed to follow the movements of the Moon as it crosses the sky. Half above ground and half below, the Lunar Day ring is a keystone of the superstructure representing the Moon’s position in the sky above and below our horizon.
Using the Moon to connect people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures, Aluna’s rings will create an inclusive, accessible public space between the land and the water for international festival, education, community events and taking ‘time out’ by the river. Through education and community programmes, Aluna will inspire people to explore and celebrate humanity’s relationships with nature, and learn why and how we protect our fragile and interconnected ecosystem, now and into the future.
The feasibility and pre-application scoping process is complete. To find out more about Aluna and how to support the development, visit the Aluna website.