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Archive News 2008

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has put his weight behind The Aluna Project as a proposal that must be realised in London in time for the London 2012 Olympics...
Further News:
Aluna Bids For East India Dock Basin London E14 / Funding Appeal To Secure London Site For Aluna / New Articles in The Docklands and New York Quarterly Cabinet / New Premises For The Aluna Project At Trinity Buoy Wharf / The Aluna Foundation / New Endorsements From: Professor The Baroness Lola Young Of Hornsey OBE, Mike Davies CBE, TourEast London, Cliff Prior CBE, British Waterways, Centre For Alternative Technology, Association Of Island Communities, University Of Southampton And National Oceanography Centre, Southampton / Links With Royal Observatory Greenwich / Aluna Featured At CIDA Event Late October 2008 / Latest Sponsorship / The Moon - Our Global Timekeeper / New Links To Check Out
Click to read more

The Aluna Project has been extremely busy during the last few 'moonths' - so our apologies for such a long gap between news postings! Please read on to see what we have been up's a big one but we hope worth the read.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has put his weight behind The Aluna Project as a proposal that must be realised in London in time for the London 2012 Olympics:

"It is clear to me that a unique and imaginative landmark like Aluna would be another great symbol of the cultural legacy London 2012 will leave the capital and the country. It would showcase the best of British creativity and engineering, and offer inspiring opportunities for intercultural dialogue and understanding. Powered by the tidal river Thames and built from glass recycled by Londoners themselves, a world first like Aluna would draw international visitors to this part of East London and engage Londoners. The riverside location at the East India Dock Basin seems a perfect spot for such an intriguing art work and Aluna would complement the existing nature reserve. I wish the Aluna team every success in taking this project forward." Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Aluna's world-class team were joined in June by RIBA-award winners Edward Cullinan Architects, renowned exhibition designers Land Design Studio, culture and regeneration specialists David Powell Associates and destination consultants Locum Consulting to develop a complete proposal for the regeneration of East India Dock Basin, London E14 (click here to view pdf map). It was submitted to landowners Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and London Thames Gateway Development Corporation in July, in response to a competitive marketing brief. We are one of four proposals who have been short-listed and interviewed for further consideration. Watch this space for further news!

Click To Enlarge

click here to enlarge sketch by Edward Cullinan Architects

The Aluna Project proposal is to transform this rare waterfront site into a world class destination that includes an iconic landmark sculpture (Aluna!); a fully sustainable, green-roofed Eco-Cultural Centre providing education, exhibition and performance spaces as well as café, retail and conference facilities; and the protection and enhancement of the nature reserve. The development will be entirely zero-carbon and the first of its kind in London, and once up and running it will also be self-sustaining. East India Dock Basin is a site of historic and ecological importance, and one of the last remaining pieces of waterfront Metropolitan Open Land on the Thames' north bank. Located on the Thameside promontory, Aluna will celebrate the tidal entrance to this unique heritage site, and Aluna's innovation, materials and technologies will echo the Lea Valley's past industrial and maritime heritage whilst looking forward to a future where people and planet can coexist in sustainable ways. Click here to see what local residents Cliff Prior CBE and Rita Bensley, Mike Davies CBE (the architect of The O2 Millennium Dome), Mark Bensted London Director of British Waterways and TourEast London's Chair Bob Harris have to say.

The Aluna Project proposal was supported by a consortium of local stakeholders comprising of British Waterways, Urban Space Management, Leaside Regeneration, Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust and East Thames Housing.

FUNDING APPEAL TO SECURE LONDON SITE FOR ALUNA Although the support has never been stronger, we are by no means home and dry regarding securing the site at East India Dock Basin. Aluna's realisation in London by 2012 depends entirely on financial backers to come forward during possibly one of the worst economic crises in history. We urgently need development funding totalling £189,000 to take the project through its development studies and planning processes up to the build phase. We also need to secure capital funding pledges to the amount of £4.3m. If you want to support one of the most unique projects ever to be realised in London, then please get in touch! If you don't, but know people who do, please send them this way. Contact Laura Williams by calling +44 (0)20 7536 7632 or email Please note that we are certainly not counting our chickens... we are always willing to consider interest from other locations around the world, so if you have a site and funding elsewhere, our contact details are above.

NEW ARTICLES FEATURING ALUNA An article about Aluna was featured in The Docklands on 27th August, and in a short essay "A Minor History of / Time without Clocks" in the New York quarterly Cabinet, issue 29 Sloth.

The Aluna Project has been enjoying its new Project Office at a magical East London waterfront location called Trinity Buoy Wharf, opposite The O2, at the confluence of the Rivers Thames and Lea, and only a few minutes walk from the proposed site East India Dock Basin. The Project Office has been made possible by a grant from the Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust that covers the rent for 18 months. Our deepest thanks go to the Trustees, John Burton and Eric Reynolds from Urban Space Management and Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust. Visit our Contact page for our new address and phone number.

THE ALUNA FOUNDATION The Aluna Foundation is currently in application for charitable status from the Charity Commission. Honorary Patrons include Lord Martin Rees, Nicky Gavron and Sir Terry Farrell, and the Foundations founding Trustees are John Burton, Pippa Gueterbock and Greg Villalobos. The application is being processed by Peter Korn from InterChange Legal Advisory Service. Visit our Team page for more information and links.

Support for Aluna continues to build, and the project has received endorsements from the following people and organisations. Follow the links to read what they have to say.

Professor the Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey OBE: "...The Aluna Project will provide an exciting, significant opportunity for intercultural dialogue between communities; celebrating the moon as a shared symbol in an inclusive humanity is an innovative, ground-breaking way to build bridges..."

Mike Davies CBE, Director, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, Architects: "Aluna caught my imagination as a beautiful, large scale sculptural object, inspired and shaped by art, science, environmental and educational participatory opportunities, all wrapped into one element which has a certain universal quality..."

Bob Harris, Chair of TourEast London: "The Aluna Project is going to help make valuable connections to existing maritime heritage and the creative arts sectors in east London. We welcome this initiative and can see it taking its place within the vibrant visitor economy of the fastest growing destination in London."

Cliff Prior CBE, Virginia Quay Resident, London E14: "East India Dock Basin is a special place. The last surviving dock gates of its period, the last wild place on the north bank of the London Thames...The site calls for a strong work of art that symbolises the locality...Something that will draw the area up and have the world class status that this world class location deserves. Aluna is that work..."

Mark Bensted, London Director, British Waterways: "Aluna is a visually stunning and engaging public landmark and open space that will be regarded as one of the nation's most important and valued national assets. It will make the perfect venue for waterfront celebrations during and beyond London 2012..."

Paul Allen FRSA, Development Director, Centre for Alternative Technology: "The Centre for Alternative Technology gives its full support to the Aluna project at the East India Basin. We feel it is an exemplar of what can be achieved in integrated habitat design, prioritising ecology and environment within development, and creatively showing how these can work powerfully together..."

Rita Bensley, Chair, Association of Island Communities: "Aluna is a wonderful project. It will bring interest back to the River and will remind people how the river should be used. It will educate the youngsters, bring communities together and allow us to appreciate the similarities between all cultures."

Three Faiths Forum,

Dr Ken Collins, School of ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

David Rooney, Curator of Timekeeping at Royal Greenwich Observatory has been a keen endorser of Aluna since his days at the Science Museum, where he looked after the iconic prototype 'Clock of the Long Now'. David is now also officially acting as a specialist advisor to the project, where his knowledge of the history of time keeping is helping to inform the development of the Eco-Cultural Centre alongside Aluna, as well as the cultural and educational programmes developed around the timepiece in the future.

Aluna's artist Laura Williams has been invited to present Aluna as a case study for CIDA and Business Link in London's dynamic Social Enterprise Finance Seminar and networking event, aimed to provide essential information on the right sources of finance for creative social enterprises. Other presentations include Triodos Bank, London Rebuilding Society and Village Underground. This event is free but you need to book... click here to read the e-flyer , email CIDA:, call 020 7247 4710, visit

Aluna continues to survive on the support of many wonderful individuals and organisations, through support in kind with knowledge, expertise and equipment. Deepest thanks go to the recent support from:

Apple Colour Litho - for once again providing beautifully printed brochures with a minimum impact on the environment, see if you are looking for green and friendly printers.

Very PC Ltd - the loan of a low energy PC for our Project Office. It's called the Treeton, and although big in processing power, it's tiny in stature and uses only 28 watts power.

Focus Offshore Ltd - to Steph Merry, Director and principal technical consultant, who has been giving ongoing assistance to The Aluna Project with the development of its tidal technologies and assessment of the site at East India Dock Basin.

Edward Cullinan Architects - to award-winning ECA and architects Roddy Langmuir, Colin Rice and Simon Feneley for all the work they put in towards developing the outline scheme for the Eco-Cultural Centre element of the proposal submitted to London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

David Powell Associates - to directors David Powell and Peter Mount for all their assistance with pulling together the proposal and business plan documents for the site submission, as well as their continued help with development strategy and project management.

Land Design Studio - to exhibition designer Peter Higgins for his early input regarding the exhibition design elements of our proposal for the Eco-Cultural Centre.

Locum Consulting - to Locum, Director Mark Sullivan and Senior Consultant Joanne South who have helped develop Aluna's business case at a greatly reduced cost to the project.

And huge thanks for their continued and remarkable input to the longer-term members of Aluna's Team, its Patrons and Trustees, and Endorsers and Advisors.

Some timely examples where global cultures contemplate and celebrate under the watchful eye of our partner planet: Last 'moonth' was the month of Ramadan, which started around the world with the first sighting of the new crescent moon around the 2nd of September. A full lunation (lunar phase cycle) later, October's new crescent moon heralded the end of Ramandan and the Eid celebrations. But not only was this a significant date for Islamic communities in London and around the world...The new moon of September 29th signified the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah, with Yom Kippur the following week, and Sukkot in two weeks time on the full moon of the 14th. The new moon also signified the start of the Hindu lunar month of Asvina and the festival of Navaratri, celebrating the start of winter and the Divine Mother/Great Goddess Durga. The dark skies of next new moon, on October 28th, will witness the Hindu and Sikh New Year - Diwali, otherwise known as Festival of Light. If you live near tidal waters, you may have noticed the incredible spring tides following this last new moon. During the new and full moons around the vernal (spring) and autumnal equinoxes, you will always see the spring tides at their most extreme. Visit the Tides FAQ page at Aluna's oceanographers Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory for more information on lunar and solar influences on our beautiful blue planet:

TippingPoint aims to 'harness the power of the imagination to help stabilise the climate'.
Communities coming together to respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil and Climate Change.
Dark Waters is a RIBA London exhibition, co-curated with Peter Ackroyd and the Dark Waters project team, about rebuilding an ancient relationship with the Thames and an exploration of the nature of the connections that result.
PortCities UK invites visitors to experience the past by exploring the impact that major rivers and ports have had on the present. Selected accounts of events, people and industry create a rich picture of the cities.
Ken Ring is a lunar forecaster and contracted to Australian TV Channel 7 as their longrange forecaster. He has written a book called Predicting Weather By The Moon and has decided to make the 230-page book available as a free online download:
Calculate Sun and Moon rise and set times, Moon phases and other data for anywhere in the world.


News release - new phase for moon powered public art project: The Aluna Project has received development funding for its realisation on East london's Thames from London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, the Mayor of London and UK leaders in construction and renewables the Sir Robert McAlpine / Renewable Energy Systems Group...
Other News:
Support from the Renewable Energy Association / New Aluna CGI Images / Hardware & Software Sponsorship / The New Chinese Lunar Year Of The Rat / Total Lunar Eclipse
Click to read more

The Aluna Project has received development funding for its realisation on East London's Thames from London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC), the Mayor of London and UK leaders in construction and renewables the Sir Robert McAlpine / Renewable Energy Systems Group. We are now seeking developers and financiers to join them in funding the next stages of the project. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor please contact us at or call the project office +44 (0)20 7683 1138.

"New phase for Moon powered public art project
Sustainable landmark to cast new light on East London
Development of the world's first tidal powered Moon clock moved a step forward this week. The fully sustainable sculpture, which would be made from recycled glass and steel and powered by the Thames tides, has secured funding for the next phase of development - opening up the project to the further private investment needed to make it a reality..."
Click here to read the press statement released today by LTGDC.

Gavin McAlpine of Aluna sponsors Renewable Energy Systems Ltd & Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd said: "The Aluna project has the potential to develop further people's understanding of the critical issues of our time - climate change, renewable energy and regeneration. In its simplicity it will be incredibly powerful and would substantiate the necessity for effective communication in this era of global challenges and local fragmentation. Being located in the Thames Gateway regeneration area it would be important symbolically, as well as being a further catalyst for change. This is an exciting project to be associated with and we hope now that others will share this enthusiasm and the Aluna vision."

Peter Andrews, Chief Executive of LTGDC , commented: "LTGDC is committed to engaging with stakeholders and the local community to drive creativity in the Gateway, not only in terms of infrastructure, but also cultural and educational development to create interesting and vibrant places where people want to live and work....
Innovative initiatives such as Aluna are a good example of the type of creative thinking we are looking for in the area."

Leading London politicians Councillor Denise Jones and Jim Fitzpatrick MP are enthusiastic about Aluna's potential realisation in their East London constituencies:

Denise Jones, Council Leader, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, said: "The Aluna project is a unique imaginative and educational arts installation that will be of interest to all communities in Tower Hamlets."

Jim Fitzpatrick MP - Poplar & Canning Town London said: "Aluna is the perfect landmark to represent London and the nation in 2012 because it unites people on a global and local level. It will provide a shared public space for the people of East London, and act as a beautiful reminder of our maritime history. By using glass recycled by Londoners Aluna will be both a product of, and a long-term legacy for, local communities."

Click here to read what other supporters say about Aluna.


We are delighted to announce the Renewable Energy Association are supporting the Aluna Project. Dr Stephanie Merry, Head of Marine at the REA, is working with the Aluna Team to develop the tidal aspect of the project.
"The Aluna tidal-powered Moon Clock is a potential catalyst and a positive illuminating symbol for the British tidal power industry. The publicity and prestige this project is already generating will provide a highly visible and public demonstration of tidal-stream power and showcase of UK tidal stream generation technologies, in which we lead the world.
This project will also provide additional energy and a practical demonstration of tidal energy to the surrounding community by feeding any excess energy produced back to domestic homes in the area.
The Renewable Energy Association is delighted be involved and offers its full support to the Aluna Project."

We have new images by Aluna's 3D computer visualiser Mark Glean. View them on our What, How and London pages. Mark is currently working on further images and animations so please keep in touch over the coming weeks and months for further viewings!
If you are press and would like high resolution images for printed publications please email us at
The images were also kindly facilitated by sponsorship from Very PC, specialists in bespoke computer systems and award-winning low energy PC's, and Newtek, who provided Aluna with Lightwave 3D modelling software.

February's new Moon on the 7th signified the start of the new Chinese Lunar Year - the Year of the Rat. The new Moon brings in many new years around the world... January's heralded the start of the Islamic New Year.
If you're already wondering why Easter seems so unusually early this year on 23rd March, it's because Easter falls on the first Sunday after the full Moon after the vernal (spring) equinox - 20th March. This year the full Moon occurs the following day, on the 21st. It not only celebrates Good Friday, but also the Hindu festival of Holi, Magha Puja (Buddhist) and Purim (Jewish) festivals. Culturally a most auspicious day!

The Earth, Moon and Sun once again line up magnificently to create a total eclipse of the Moon occurs during the night of Wednesday, February 20/21, 2008. The entire event is visible from South America and most of North America (on Feb. 20) as well as Western Europe, Africa, and western Asia (on Feb. 21). The Earth's shadow will take approximately three and quarter hours to pass over the Moon, with totality occurring around 3am turning the Moon a beautiful red colour.
For more information visit

Thank you for your continued support and we'll be in touch again with more developments soon.



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