A new proposal could lead to a nuclear power plant in the UK that literally shoots rainbows into the sky. UK-based master planning firm, One Creative Environments, submitted a landscape design proposal for Cumbria’s Moorside Power Plant that is equipped with two large glass towers that would use light and mist to create a continual arching rainbow over the site.
The Moorside Power plant is slated to be completed in Cumbria’s rural landscape in 2024. A creative design competition, sponsored by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Landscape Institute, called on designers to submit creative landscape proposals for the project. One Creative Environments’ rainbow pitch, called Discovery Park, was recently shortlisted along with four other design firms.
The company’s submission envisions a master landscaping plan that would seek to integrate the power plant into the area without sacrificing the existing landscape’s beauty. The proposal calls for using 13 million cubic meters of excavated earth to form a green-covered hillscape, which would be sculpted into various earthworks shaped into representations of splitting the atom, energy and particle trails. An outdoor science park would house educational activities and science exhibitions, and a large, open-air amphitheater would host concerts throughout the year.
However, the cherry on top of the design is clearly the massive man-made rainbow that would arch over the landscape. Two large glass prismatic towers would be placed on opposite sides of the project and would use light and mist to create a continual rainbow. An onsite plant nursery would produce “floristically-rich grassland habitats” that would echo the colors of the rainbow on the ground. According to the designers, the rainbow installation was inspired by a William Wordsworth poem remarking on the beauty of Cumbria, “My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky”.
One Creative Environments director, Mark Martin, hails the company’s design as a feasible option that would be able to incorporate the power plant into the area without sacrificing its rural landscape. “To see our landscape designs in the top five is an achievement in itself, and going by the comments received, we appear to have caught the imagination of the public,” he said. “The landscape designs, discovery centre and rainbow installation will create a destination in their own right, helping the power station blend in with the stunning scenery in the region, whilst providing a place for people to visit and learn about NuGen’s advancement of safe nuclear science and power.”