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Work Begins On M1 Sundial

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SunriseWhere science and art meet ...
Listen to Bob Walker's report on a massive sundial being built near the M1 in Derbyshire. But how much do such projects contribute to the local community?

LISTEN
Bob Walker's report, plus architecture critic Giles Worsley on the impact such projects can have on the local communities (27/01/04).
Sundial model

The way the sundial will look ... a model of the Solar Pyramid, at the building site in Derbyshire.
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The Solar Pyramid homepage

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Pyramid designer Richard Lester-Swain

One of the Solar Pyramid's designers, Richard Lester-Swain, with a model of his creation.
Sunrise

You'll have to run to keep up with the shadow cast by the Solar Pyramid.
Work has begun on a giant £1.5 million structure which its supporters believe will put all other regional symbols in the shade.

A huge Solar Pyramid (twice as high as an electricity pylon) will dominate a hillside about three quarters of a mile from the M1 near Chesterfield in Derbyshire.

The giant structure consists of three highly polished blades which will cast a shadow on to the base which doubles as a sundial.

Those tempted to follow the shadows as it makes its way around the dial will have to run to keep up. When completed later this year the Solar Pyramid will dwarf rival regional structures like the popular Angel of the North.

It’ll stand on a hilltop in the middle of PoolsBrookCountryPark at Staveley in North East Derbyshire.

The park itself was planted on the site of a former colliery and it’s hoped the Pyramid will come to represent and encourage the economic regeneration of the area. There are no deep mine collieries left in the county.

The M1 Motorway is about three quarters of a mile away and the Solar Pyramid will be visible to motorists travelling along a three mile stretch.

The cash has been raised through local business sponsorship and European grants.

Drilling surveys have begun at the site and it’s hoped that the Solar Pyramid will be completed by September 22, the Autumn Solstice.

Click here to listen to Bob Walker's live report from the construction site, plus architecture critic Giles Worsley on the impact such projects can have on the local communities.


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