デザインはトンキン・リュウがArupのエンジニアと共同で開発した「シェルレース構造（Shell Lace Structure）」をベースとしている。自然界の幾何学から学び構築された超軽量、超薄型の単一表面構造により、最小限の材料で最大限の効果を上げている。
Project name: Tower of Light and Wall of Energy, Manchester Civic Quarter Heat Network & Energi Centre
Project address: Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, M1 5HA
Gross area: Tower of Light = L 6.2m x W 3.8m x H 39.2m
Wall of Energy = 63.4m long, 349sqm, 1373no. tiles, 31no. tile types
Project cost: Confidential
Start Date: Design Competition won October 2017
Completion: 14th October 2021 Tower of Light ceremony February 2022 Official Opening new energy centre.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Award Category / Region Result
Future Cities Forum 2021 Summer Awards: Net Zero Winner
BCIA Awards 2021 NIC Design Principles Award Highly Commended
Utility Project of the Year Finalist
Civic Trust Awards 2022 North-West Regional Finalist
AJ Architecture Awards 2021 Infrastructure and Transport Shortlisted
Client / Employer / Primary Funding Client
Company: Manchester City Council
Contact Name: Julian Packer
Position: Civic Quarter Heat Network Project Director (Technical)
Address: Manchester City Council, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA
Tel: 07879 625 170
Client / Main Contractor & Operator
Company: Vital Energi
Contact Name: Phil Mottershead
Position: Account Director
Address: Century House, Roman Rd, Blackburn BB1 2LD
Tel: 01254 296 000
Art, Architecture, Landscape
Company: Tonkin Liu
Contact (Directors): Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu
Project Architect: Matthew Burnett
Address: 5 Wilmington Square, London WC1X 0ES
Tel: 020 7837 6255
Contact (Director): Ed Clark
Project Engineer: Chris Clarke
Address: 8 Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 4BJ
Tel: 020 7636 1531
Company: SEAM Design
Contact (Director): Emory Smith
Address: 1-2 Atlas Mews, Ramsgate St, London, E8 2NE
Tel: 020 7033 6757
Tower of Light – Steelwork Fabricator
Company: Shawton Engineering Ltd
Contact: Jamie Shaw
Address: Unit 1 Junction Lane, Sankey Valley Industrial Estate Newton-Le-Willows, WA12 8DN
Tel: 01925 220 338
Wall of Energy – Facade Contractor
Company: Axis Envelope Solutions
Contact: Steve McKenna
Address: Unit 2, Newmarket Approach, Cross Green Ind Estate Leeds, LS9 0RJ
Tel: 0113 372 0220
Wall of Energy – Ceramic Tile Manufacturer
Company: Darwen Terracotta
Contact Name: Jon Wilson
Address: Ribble House, Challenge Way, Blackburn, BB1 5RB
Tel: 01254 460500
Contact: Mark Worcester
Address: 1 New York Street, Manchester M1 4HD
Tel: 0161 233 7676
Company: Tryka UK
Contact Name: Ryan Rolph
Address: Unit 3 Station Works, Station Road, Shepreth, Hets, SG8 6PZ
Tel: 01763 260666
Company: ECS Limited
Contact Name: Adam Hardy
Address: Charter House, Stansfield Street, Nelson, Lancashire, BB9 9XY
Tel: 07476 866451
Contact Name: Antony Drayton
Address: ProGen Services, Humberville Road Immingham, DN40 1AX
Tel: 01469 578332
Tower of Light and Wall of Energy
Capture the energy of the sun
Harness the power of the wind
Engage the cycles of the sky
Reflect the movements on the streets
Herald Manchester’s low carbon future
PROJECT DESCRIPTION (500 words)
The Tower of Light is a 40-metre tall tower supporting and enclosing flues for a
new low-carbon energy centre in Manchester’s city centre. The biomimetic structure has built on the decade- long innovation and research, Shell Lace Structure, pioneered by Tonkin Liu and developed in collaboration with engineers at Arup. Learning from geometries in nature, the tower’s form is its strength. The super-light, super-thin single-surface structure uses the least material to achieve the most. The tower is constructed from 6 and 8mm thick flat steel sheets, tailored, laser-cut, then welded together to create a curved stiff strong surface. Modern methods of construction using advanced digital modelling, analysis, and fabrication, combined with principles of tailoring, have made the Shell Lace Structure innovation possible. This is the largest built Shell Lace Structure to date.
The Wall of Energy is a 63-metre long, 4- 6 metre height street façade enclosing the new energy centre. The glazed ceramic tiles reflect light and movement from the clouds in the sky, and the hustle and bustle of pedestrians and cars on the streets. The tessellated interlocking lozenge tile pattern evokes the dynamic energy of earth’s movements, as seen in patterns left in the sand by ocean waves. The 31 different tile types produce undulations that increase in height, across a total of 1373 tiles. Contained within a structure inspired by nature, the technological working of the new energy centre hall can be viewed through a long ribbon window.
Minimal energy is used to light the Tower of Light. During the day, polished reflectors inside the tower move in the wind, to reflect sunlight into the tower’s chambers and fill the tower with moving light. During the night, LED lights directed at the reflectors create animated, programmed light sequences every quarter of an hour, marking the passage of time. The Wall of Energy reflects the light of moving clouds and car headlights on the street, as well as being animated with integrated programmed light at night. On landmark dates across the year, the Tower and Wall are illuminated together with colours to mark cultural celebrations.
Tonkin Liu worked with locally based fabricators to deliver both the tower and the wall. The tower was fabricated by Shawton Engineering, where the final stitch-welding was reserved for the most experienced hands of two veteran welders. The ceramic tiles were fabricated by Darwen Terracotta, one of the UK’s oldest and most respected terracotta companies.
With the opening of the Civic Quarter Heat Network (CQHN) and Energy Centre, key civic buildings in the centre of Manchester are provided with low carbon energy through a 2 km network of buried, insulated pipes and power cables. The Energy Centre contains a highly-efficient 3.3MWe CHP engine with two back-up12MW gas boilers, The centre has the capability to incorporate future low/zero carbon energy technologies, including the use of Green Gas, Hydrogen Fuel, and Heat Pumps. without disruption to the supply. Heat from the power-generating CHP engine is harnessed to create hot water, distributed through the insulated district pipework across the city. The technology improves energy, contributing towards the city’s goal of becoming zero carbon by 2038.
The completed Tower of Light and Wall of Energy create a prominent new gateway into Manchester’s historic district. Together they form a holistic energy landmark that engages communities with the innovative technologies at the heart of Manchester’s low-carbon ambition and Climate Change Action Plan.
Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment for Manchester City Council,
“The Civic Quarter Heat Network is a trailblazing system which demonstrates Manchester’s determination to cut our carbon emissions. As a Council we are committed to playing our full part in limiting the impacts of climate change as the city strives to become zero carbon by 2038 – at least 12 years ahead of the national target. It’s a complex challenge but ambitious projects such as this network show that we are taking action to rise to it. As well as looking beautiful, we hope that the Tower of Light will be a beacon for this kind of work.”
Julian Packer, Manchester City Council
Phil Mottershead, Vital
Chris, Structural Engineer, Arup
Jamie Shaw, Director, Shawton’s Engineering
Jon Wilson, Director, Darwen Terracotta
Tower of Light Press Release – Long text with all aspects explained
Low-carbon Energy Centre
Manchester City Council and Vital Energi have joined forces to create a new Low- Carbon Energy Centre. The facility will supply combined heat and power to a collection of iconic buildings across the city’s Civic Quarter Heat Network. The sensitive heritage site adjacent to Manchester Central was envisaged as an opportunity for a landmark gateway project to Manchester Civic Quarter. The design competition sought a creative and cost-effective design with significant architectural merit. Tonkin Liu’s proposal for the Tower of Light unanimously won the competition and planning approval with the full support of Historic England. The structural artwork of the Tower of Light and the Wall of Energy, together make a statement about the city’s zero-carbon ambition, creating a nature inspired addition to the Manchester’s historic cityscape
CQHN and CHP Energy Centre
With the opening of the Civic Quarter Heat Network (CQHN) and Energy Centre, key civic buildings in the centre of Manchester are provided with low carbon hot water and power, across a 2 km network of buried, insulated pipes and power cables. These include several of the city’s most iconic buildings: the Town Hall, Town Hall Extension, Central, and the Bridgewater Hall. The Energy Centre contains a highly-efficient 3.3MWe CHP engine with two back-up12MW gas boilers, The centre has the capability to incorporate future low/zero carbon energy technologies, including the use of Green Gas, Hydrogen Fuel, and Heat Pumps. without disruption to the supply. Heat from the power-generating CHP engine is harnessed to create hot water, distributed through the insulated district pipework across the city. The technology improves energy, contributing towards the city’s goal of becoming zero carbon by 2038.
Tonkin Liu approaches every project with a design methodology that allows the specific circumstances of each project to guide the creation of a unique solution. This distinctive approach has helped the small office win 20 RIBA awards for the built work. The storytelling methodology learns from nature and culture to bring fresh inspiration to the architectural realm. In Manchester, this helped to satisfy the competition jurors’ desire for an original proposal for this important site. Tonkin Liu’s ‘Asking, Looking, Playing, Making’ methodology gives the practice a toolkit for investigation, exploration and experimentation, resulting in the delivery of highly specific, technically innovative works. This is achieved through a collaborative process that starts with the client and consultants, then expanded alongside the expertise of craftspeople, artisans, naturalists and computational experts.
Asking questions to poetically redefine the brief
Tonkin Liu’s winning competition entry redefined the brief to create a place specific response in the form of an innovative tower structure and a sculptural wall that found inspiration in the subject of energy and the industrious city. The architects took inspiration from energy and the rotation of the planet. This rotation lifts the sun into the sky and the dynamism of the wind produces waves and changing light. Mankind’s own energy is also provided through the act of rotation in turbines and engines that give us both heat and power. With these subject matters as a starting
point, the team asked how the proposals could utilise the idea of rotation and energy to make a city-scale artwork that speaks of, and interacts with, the energy of the city. The team asked, “how could our knowledge of science and nature now be given the artistic means to find form and technique that is applicable to our technologically advanced age?” The functional role of the tower and the wall are very different, but share an artistic intent to engage and amplify people’s interest in energy. The questioning process of the ‘Asking’ stage focuses the research stage of ‘Looking,’ setting both the pragmatic and poetic agendas that expand the field of influence and bring new ideas to the fore. These riddle was to seek a monument for our time inspired by a story of energy, nature, and culture.
Looking for inspiration for the tower
For the flue tower, inspiration from culture came from looking at the origin of chimneys. The exuberant Tutor brick chimney stacks of Hampton Court, for example, use rotational forms to catch light and adding strength, celebrating on the skyline the luxury of fresh, non-polluted air inside its great halls. Manchester’s own industrial skyline provided lessons in the expression of the decorative furnace towers that rose from a robust base into a tall, slender shaft and a celebratory summit. Inspiration from nature came from the Cholla desert cactus that grow as tall as possible, its vertical form minimising its solar exposure, and its tall shaft pointing directly at the midday equatorial sun. Another precedent, shown to the competition jurors by the design team, was the primitive glass sponge, the ‘Venus Flower Basket,’ one of nature’s lightest and most miraculous structures. The sponge weaves its cylindrical form as a filigree web from strands of silica with highly intricate three-dimensional diagonal bracing. The organism uses a minimal amount of material to create an ultra-delicate structure. The stacking and connection of the 4-metre height drum modules was informed by the structure of bamboo, with regular horizontal diaphragms to enable it to achieve its height. For the tower, combined insights from nature and culture led the quest for a light, delicate, economic, and biomimetic structure fit for our time.
Looking for inspiration for the wall
For the wall, the team searched for influences that would embody the energy on land. The search was not for vertical lightness but for the expression of horizonal mass. From nature, the inspiration came from patterns in the sand at the interface of land and sea. The energy of the ocean’s waves leaves its impression on the sand in rippling patterns. Manchester’s symbol of the hardworking bee suggests the repetition and energy in the naturally tessellated structure of the hive. In cultural terms, Manchester’s terracotta heritage is displayed at the adjacent Midland Hotel, providing a reference that pointed towards a possible fabrication technique. Together this array of diverse references gave the team inspiration for a sculptural tessellated form that changes across its curved surface, expressing the idea of energy and of growth.
Tower design alternatives
Design alternatives test diverse territories with options that take on and explore different influences. These were evaluated according to the redefined objectives of the story, to find the appropriate formal expression and technology. With the
selection of a single surface structural option, the team challenged the brief and the technical convention of flue towers. These usually have an internal structure wrapped with an external shield as cladding that is considered the artwork. Why should the structure not be the artwork? Out of all the design alternatives this single surface option was selected as the alternative with the most potential. It employed a structural technique called Shell Lace Structure that was invented in 2009 by Tonkin Liu and developed in conjunction with engineers at Arup, a biomimetic technique informed by how mollusc shells create strong surfaces with great material economy. With this option, the structure and the enclosing artwork become one sculptural entity. In comparison to a conventional frame and cladding solution, the Shell Lace Structure option could reduce the carbon footprint with an innovative and sound engineering solution.
Shell Lace Structure
The Shell Lace Structure technique was discovered by Tonkin Liu in 2009 through empirical experimentation that combined knowledge of mollusc shell geometries with the traditional craft of tailoring. In conjunction with empirical lessons, digital design and fabrication tools make possible a variety of structural types. These active surface structures bring together the conventional engineering fields of shell design and folded plate structures to create strong, ultra-light, free organic forms. The development of the novel technique was carried out through a series of architectural competitions, resulting in several wins and built structures prior to the Tower of Light. In 2014, an RIBA Research grant was awarded to Shell Lace Structure, and an exhibition held at the RIBA headquarters with an accompanying catalogue, The Evolution of Shell Lace Structure.
In Manchester, the brief stipulated that the flue tower should rise and rid the air at 40m above ground level, housing five flues that require working space for maintenance of their whole circumference. An oval plan was proposed that worked with the geometry of the site and had the best aspect for withstanding the oncoming south westerly winds. This gave the tower an energy-efficient cylindrical oval form. Corrugation around the circumference of the plan increased the surface area to provide a strong plan form. Undulation of the sheets that made up the vertical plane of the corrugated surface allowed the architects to make a single surface structure, a stiff lattice of interlocked steel sheets. The corrugation and undulation create a ridged surface with locked-in strength. In comparison, a plane of smooth cylindrical structure would need to be many times heavier or require tangential stiffeners to avoid greater thickness.
The tower has a base, a middle and a crown, each expressing the forces that are acting upon it. At the base, the corrugations are simple folded 8mm thick plates orientated in the vertical plane. The tower’s dead load increases and becomes more vertically inclined with the accumulated load at its base. As the tower rises, the dead load decreases and the imposed lateral load increases, with the speed of the wind increasing at high levels. Rising from this sturdy folded base, the steel sheet thickness reduces to 6mm, the tailored sheets become increasing curved, staying
within the same plane and orientation for the remaining height of the tower. The interlocking and undulating surface creates a diagonal lattice that spirals around the tower’s circumference. The forces proceed to the structure’s outer-most edge and follow the strongest paths, in this case, the diagonal stiff ridges where the surfaces meet. By increasing the amplitude of the surface curvature, the formation of the stiff ridges is oriented to receive the forces of the wind and deliver them down and around the structure. Shell Lace Structure technique allows the form and composition of the tower to be highly expressive of its structural performance.
Playing with form of enclosing wall
The CHP engine and boilers within the energy centre are housed in space under the Transport for Greater Manchester tramway next to Manchester Central. The curving boundary of the site rises from under the arched tramway bridge, enclosing the new Energy Hall. The Wall of Energy follows this flowing line, rising in height with a tightened curve at the northern end. A long ribbon window displays the inner working of the energy centre. The sculpted podium block expands beyond the tramway to allow the flue tower to rise alongside the trams. Pragmatically, the wall, the window, and the tower work together to make a dramatic landmark gateway into the Civic Quarter. Poetically they work together as an artwork that heralds Manchester’s forward thinking environmental agenda.
The formal exploration of the wall
The quest for the design of the enclosing wall was that it should speak of energy and become a dynamic part of Manchester’s cityscape. Prefabrication of the outer cladding suited the construction sequence and allowed the wall to become a highly crafted addition to the Civic Quarter. In response to the complex plan form and profile of the enclosing wall, an approach that used smaller units gave the most creative freedom. The tessellated interlocking lozenge tile pattern evokes the dynamic energy of earth’s movements, as seen in patterns left in the sand by ocean waves. To make a sculptural whole from many smaller units, digital tools of design and construction were employed. The search for form was focused on how the horizontal quality of the wall could work in contrast to vertical expression of the tower, reflecting light and casting shadow. The tramway above the wall and the light of passing cars all contribute to the play of the light in the sky and the light on the street. When the council was shown the wall, they named it the Wall of Energy.
Window in the wall
The client called for the internal workings of the Energy Centre to be revealed, communicating the story of the production and local distribution of efficient energy. The interior of Tony Wilson’s Legendary night club the Hacienda, provided inspiration for the expression of the energy hall. Contained within a structure inspired by nature, the technological working of the hall is to be viewed through a long ribbon window. The reference suggested that the internal colours of the of the hall and technical equipment could be expressed through bright colour coding. A colour- coded window graphic explains heat distribution to the city and innovative principles of the Shell Lace Structure Tower of Light.
Making the family of parts
When the appropriate form for the tower and the wall had been selected and the ambition for their materiality and technique had emerged, Tonkin Liu progressed to the final stage of the methodology, making. In making, the Family of Parts that constitute the whole, the tower, the wall, and the window, each experimented with systems of construction through the exploration of material in relation to technique. This process expanded the collaboration beyond the client and consultants, into the arena of specialist fabricators. Through a supportive network of highly skilled fabricators, a collaborative team was assembled to ensure the energy centre was procured within the site’s proximity. For the tower, steel fabricators Shawton Engineering from Warrington undertook the challenge, with laser cutting done by M- Tec in Darwen. For the wall, the tiles were made by Darwen Terracotta from Blackburn, installed by cladding specialist Axis Envelope Solutions from Leeds. The Playing stage drove the form of the evolving story, proving a poetic script to direct the exploration of the construction methods that in turn built the story through the making stage.
Making the tower drums
The tower was designed to be constructed of eight transportable oval drums, each 4m tall, 6m long and 3m wide. For installation, a low loader carried pairs of drums that can be lifted into place by a crane at night. To make the drums, flat sheets of tailored laser-cut stainless steel were rolled and stitch welded into formed pairs, their tailored shape defined their form as they joined. The pairs were welded together to make stiff 4m high 6mm thick quadrants. These were then fixed in the vertical plane to the corrugated profile of the oval diaphragm bases. The bamboo like diaphragm added structural stiffness to the oval cylinder, providing maintenance access to the flue junctions, whilst aiding the construction and assembly process. The stainless- steel drums were then prepared, primed, and spray-painted before the flues were installed and completed, and the drums transported to site for assembly. The modular drums had independent structural integrity, which meant scaffolding was not required to install the structure. On site, a swift erection of the tower was possible, with a systematic and minimum number of bolted connections required to fix one drum on top of the next. This avoided any encroachment onto the TfGM tramway during the construction phases and after completion of the tower.
Perforation and digital tools.
Through the Making stage, the adaptability of the Shell Lace Structure allowed for the changing of form, by amending the amplitude and longitude of the undulations, without changing the cost. Computer analysis allowed the team to optimise the relationship between thickness, corrugation, undulation, and perforation. As perforation opened the surface, more wind could pass through the structure, reducing its imposed load. Increasing the perforations also reduced the tower’s weight, and its foundation mass. In this way the perforations decreased both imposed load and dead load. Digital analysis showed the web of forces across the curved surface, allowing the team to design the organic form of the perforations in response. Opening the surface of the structure also made the tower more transparent, to showcase the flues inside. The exposed perforated edges demonstrate the thinness of the material, achieving a delicate, lace-like surface at
the urban scale. The pattern of the perforation evolved over the height of the tower, each section branching in its own bespoke patten to tell the story of the tower’s structural performance. All cut-outs were recycled. The complex undulating and perforate form of the tower also had the advantage of vortex shedding, to break the flow of the wind and prevent trailing eddies that would otherwise cause unwanted resonance. Digital design and fabrication allowed for a synthesis of material and technique, making a perfect balance between form and function.
Making the tiled wall
As with the tower, the form of the tile was first explored at the scale of the hand through plasticine models. Experiments set out to achieve a sense of dynamism within the undulating surface of a tessellated pattern. Numerous physical models led onto controlled digital versions that were then 3d printed to test their validity. Unlike the developable surface of the towers single surface structure, the tile design could exploit the full potential of digital form-making. In the final iteration of the design, through the height of the wall the tiled surfaces evolve from a flat surface at the base into sinusoidal curves in both section and plan at the top. The section through the upper tiles is reversed from the centre to the end of the lozenge to invert the flow and create three-dimensional undulations across the entire surface.
The 3D digital model was used by Darwen terracotta to make the first prototype CNC cut foam models at one to one scale. From this foam positive, a demountable slip cast is made in several sections to give an even thickness to the tile. Into the chimney of this negative mould, fire clay is poured to allowed to set. Each mould was able to be used 20 times before it must be remade. The need to remake moulds for each set of 20 tiles gave the design team the potential to mass customise the tiles and maximise variety within the overall composition tiles, without unduly affecting the production cost of all 1373 tiles. Including specials for edge conditions, this resulted in there being 31 different tile types. When the tiles came out of the mould, they were hand finished before firing. In the two-stage glazing process, the standard white sink colour was given a bright white super gloss finish, the highest gloss factor possible, so that its curving form reflected the maximum amount of light. Each tile was the size, weight, and colour of a Belfast sink, a handleable size and weight.
Conclusion innovating at an urban scale
Scale, ambition, and engineering achievement have long been central to Manchester’s built environment. The Deansgate area of Manchester has many exemplar engineering projects of the 19th and 20th centuries, with numerous cast iron bridges over the canal network provide a rich heritage context for the site. Through a collaborative effort, the project has seized the opportunity to mark the pioneering engineering achievement of the energy centre, within the contemporary setting of a 21st century city, as the surrounding Victorian structures did in their own era. With the opening in early 2022, Manchester’s Civic Quarter will be provided with low carbon energy, from a building that becomes a prominent new gateway into the historic district. The tower and wall will become a heritage asset that has combined nature and technology to make a statement at a pivotal moment in time. The structural tailoring of the single surface structure has been developed to create a
landmark gateway that celebrates structural efficiency, heralding Manchester’s forward-thinking environmental agenda.
An urban beacon of light
Minimal energy is used to light the Tower of Light and Wall of Energy. During the day, mirrored gold finished stainless steel reflectors within the tower ripple in the wind, reflecting the sunlight into the depth of the tower’s chambers, filling the tower with a moving kaleidoscope of light. Below, the colour and texture of Manchester’s blue sky and white clouds, the hustle and bustle of the street façade, are captured within the curving form of the reflective facade. The tessellating tiles create their own shadows that become their own pattern of energy and movement throughout the day.
During the night, as dusk sets in, integrated LED lights create animated, programmed light sequence, directed at the Tower of Light’s reflectors and the Wall of Energy. Tonkin Liu’s collaboration with lighting specialist SEAM Design developed pre-programmed sequences every quarter of an hour, marking the passage of time. The Tower’s internal glow spills through its perforations, to illuminate the falling rain. At street level, the movement of the city is captured as red and white headlights of passing cars ripple across the Wall of Energy. On landmark dates across the year, the Tower and Wall are illuminated together with colours to mark cultural celebrations.
Biomimetic symbol of our time
The Tower of light has become the largest biomimetic structure to come out of the innovative research and development of Shell Lace Structure. Learning from nature, the Tower of Light and Wall of Energy aspires to evoke the idea of energy in form, material, and constructional technique. The story of rotation has led to formal aspects of the tower and the wall, lending the structural stiffness, ridges and undulations that dramatically capture the changing nature of the weather, the light of the sky, the street, and light and life of the city. The Tower and the Wall together create a beacon on the skyline and on the street, an integrated interactive, enduring, and animated symbol for our times.
「tower of light」Tonkin Liu 公式サイト