£1bn Tidal Lagoon with oyster hatchery, restaurant, watersports and visitor centres gets planning consent

by Jak Phillips | 10 Jun 2015

The £1bn (€1.3bn $1.42bn) Swansea Tidal Lagoon – an innovative renewable energy scheme which could also feature an oyster hatchery, restaurant, visitor centre and watersport centre – has taken a significant step forward after the UK government granted planning permission.

Proposals from developer Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) for the world’s first tidal lagoon to generate clean electricity are being masterplanned by LDA Design – the firm which also worked on the London 2012 Olympic Park.

The UK government's energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd approved the tidal power aspect of the scheme this week and TLP will now negotiate how much of a governement subsidy will be paid for the energy produced to ensure the scheme is viable. A spokesperson for TLP told CLAD a separate planning application is likely to be needed for the amenity buildings.

The leisure aspects of the site are seen as being key to the overall proposition. As part of the masterplan, the lagoon would feature an international watersport centre and oyster hatchery with restaurant, designed by architects FaulknerBrowns.

Inspired by traditional fishing warehouses and boathouses, the 4,000sq m (43,056sq ft) building for the watersport, restaurant and hatchery building would include sports facilities, changing rooms and boat storage.

"Understandably much of the talk surrounding the Swansea Tidal Lagoon has centred around the energy-generating environmental issues. However, the most sustainable projects have both social as well as environmental benefits,” FaulknerBrowns partner Michael Hall told CLAD.

“The same lagoon walls that will deliver a controlled predictable release of energy will also provide a safe sheltered environment for watersports including sailing and wind/kitesurfing. The scale of the enclosure has the added benefit of being an excellent spectator amphitheatre for sailing events.”

The project is also expected to feature an eco-focused offshore visitor centre, which would include exhibition space, a lecture theatre, a café and educational facilities.

Juice Architects has led the design of the visitor centre, working alongside Evolve, LDA Design, Atkins Global and Costain. The design is based on oysters, with the structure offering the appearance of a series of shells, creating an internal area from a range of overlapping forms that envelope interconnecting spaces.

In a recent interview with CLAD, Juice Architects principal Paul Newman described the design as being representative of the project's goals, saying: “Behind the imagery is a beautifully-crafted exhibition and leisure space to explain the story of the lagoon, its construction, how the energy is captured and the benefits of this renewable energy source."

“The exhibitions will be interactive, fun and educational, as well as explaining the culture of the local area. It will focus strongly on the natural environment and how we should respect and live in harmony with our world.”

Planning permission is expected to be sought for the leisure aspects of the scheme, while negotiations will commence negotiations over energy subsidies. A final decision could be made before the end of 2015, which would pave the way for an opening date in Q3/Q4 2018.

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WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Juice Architects' Paul Newman talks about designing the Swansea tidal lagoon visitor centre

Negotiations opening for LDA Design's £1bn tidal lagoon project

Plans unveiled for Swansea Bay watersport centre and oyster hatchery

The £1bn (€1.3bn $1.42bn) Swansea Tidal Lagoon – an innovative renewable energy scheme which could also feature an oyster hatchery, restaurant, visitor centre and watersport centre – has taken a significant step forward after the UK government granted planning permission. Proposals from developer Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) for the world’s first tidal lagoon to generate clean electricity are being masterplanned by LDA Design – the firm which also worked on
Plans for the lagoon include an oyster hatchery, restaurant and international watersport centre, designed by FaulknerBrowns / FaulknerBrowns
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