“太阳之门”（Solar Gate）位于英国赫尔，是一个利用太阳校准来指示重要时刻和日期的装置。创新型的超轻双壳结构是针对场所而设计的，能够对关键的历史事件以及与古老的贝弗利门（Beverley Gate）相邻的女王花园（Queens Gardens）的文化环境做出回应。
▼装置外观，exterior view ©Tonkin Liu
Solar Gate is a sundial that uses solar alignment to mark significant times and dates in Hull. The super-light innovative two-shell structure is place-specific, responding to pivotal historic events and to the cultural context of its location in Hull’s Queens Gardens adjacent to the ancient site of Beverley Gate.
▼太阳校准示意，Solar alignment ©Tonkin Liu
The sculpture stands at a height of 10 meters but is made from miraculously thin 4mm plates. At the centre of the 4 meters wide plan the sculpture is just 1 meter deep, tapering to 100mm at the two open edges. From these edges visitors can see how the structure is formed. Two curving and corrugated surfaces join, without the aid of any additional supporting internal structures.
▼10米的雕塑由厚度仅为4mm的薄板构成，the 10-meter-high sculpture made from miraculously thin 4mm plates ©Tonkin Liu
All of the structural strength is inherent in the sculpture’s shell form. The biomimetic technique is called Shell Lace Structure, invented by Tonkin Liu and developed in collaboration with Arup over the past 8 years. Structural lessons from mollusc shells are utilised, whose curvature, corrugation and distortion provide a direct correlation between form and strength, doing away with excess structure where it is not needed. The single surfaces of the structure are tailored out of flat sheets that are curved and joined to make rigid forms.
▼雕塑内部，internal view ©Tonkin Liu
“太阳之门”在夜晚会成为发光的计时器，其外部和内部均安装有可调节的地面照明系统。由Tonkin Liu设计的灯光序列经过变成，可以在雕塑内外来回变换，使其呈现出一种接近透明的状态。雕塑周围是以顺时针方向进行开启和关闭的灯环，用于提示即将举行的活动和节日，包括像“Golden Hour”等在赫尔市范围举办的艺术展。“太阳之门”通过对“时间”的探索向人们讲述着过去，使人们在感知当下时刻的同时也能够及时地预测未来的动向。
▼夜间灯光效果，lighting effect by night ©Tonkin Liu
Solar Gate becomes an illuminated timepiece at night, with a controlled in-ground lighting system installed inside and outside the sculpture. Designed by Tonkin Liu, the lighting sequence has been programmed to alternate between outside and inside, transforming the sculpture into near-transparency. Around the sculpture a ring of perimeter lighting turns on and off in a clockwise direction, to herald forthcoming events and festivals, including a Hull-wide art event referred to as the “Golden Hour.” Through the exploration of “time,” Solar Gate speaks of the past, makes viewers aware of the present moment, and anticipates future moments in time.
▼发光的计时器，an illuminated timepiece ©Tonkin Liu
Completion date 2017