Aluna is a unique proposal for the world’s first tidal powered Moon Clock, which is being developed for a site close to the Meridian Line on northwest of the Greenwich Peninsula. The Aluna Foundation project team are aiming to develop the project for a 2016 launch.
The proposed site lies on the waterfront adjacent to the InterContinental Hotel (currently under construction) and the site of Knight Dragon's future Peninsula Quays development (renamed Meridian Quays). The Thames Path runs along the embankment through the site and immediately south of the site is a historic public draw dock.
Larger than Stonehenge, Aluna’s forty metre wide and five storey high structure is made up of three concentric translucent recycled glass rings that represent the lunar phase, the lunar day and the tide. Low energy LEDs underneath the glass produce an animation of light (Alunatime) that flows slowly around the rings illustrating the wax and wane and rise and set of the moon, and the ebb and flow of the tides. By looking at how each ring is illuminated, you can follow the Moon’s movements, its current phase and the ebb and flow of the tides.
Using the latest design and technologies, Alunatime will be powered directly by the tides using turbines. The structure is intended to take advantage of the highly dynamic environment of the proposed site, which is subject to a maximum tidal range of approximately seven metres and bi-directional water flow.
The Aluna Foundation announced in March 2015:
The Aluna team has been immensely busy in determining the optimum location for Aluna. Progress has been facilitated by grants from the Ramboll Foundation, Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust, Michael Davies Charitable Settlement and the Royal Astronomical Society, as well as significant pro-bono support kindly provided by Aluna team members.
The project is hugely exciting for us and for the whole of London, but we also recognise that it will be of most direct interest to the residents and businesses of the Greenwich Peninsula, and the river and surrounds. We will be making a further announcement in due course regarding the public consultation, scheme design and planning programme.
The estimated cost of building Aluna is £6 million, however, having moved from a land to a foreshore location, the total cost to build Aluna on the Greenwich Peninsula waterfront is now £9.6 million. This figure includes Aluna itself, plus a specific platform setting, intertidal terracing and other river habitat enhancements.
A scoping report (14/0689/EIA) was submitted in March 2014 to the Royal Borough of Greenwich regarding the work The Aluna Foundation propose to do to assess the potential environmental impacts of the project at the proposed Thames waterfront location. Search for planning applications here.
The Foundation explain that the process is an important part of the technical process necessary to go through in order to design the scheme sensitively and secure the necessary permissions to construct Aluna at the selected site.
Pending further design and project fundraising, a full planning application for Aluna is expected to be submitted in late 2015.
ALUNATIME - TRINITY BUOY WHARF
An earlier version of the Aluna moon and tide clock (below) was erected at Trinity Buoy Wharf, north of the river. Launched on the full moon of October 22nd 2010, this first ever, live ‘real time’ version of AlunaTime provides vital ongoing research and development for the 38m diameter tidal powered clock known as Aluna, planned for the Greenwich Peninsula.
A Slice of Reality
Located just northeast of the Aluna site is a work of modern art entitled A Slice of Reality, which lies directly on the Meridian Line. The installation - a slice through an old ship that represents the rich maritime history of the Thames - is positioned on the foreshore and is fully exposed during low tide and partially submerged at high tide.