1997 Orbit This imaginative Millennium bid planned to make Bristol host to a giant scaled model of the Solar System (an Orrery) stretching from Bristol’s Downs to the Docks, marking the Millennium with a planetary clock.

Each of the 9 planets would have been be displayed inside three-sided obelisks, 6 metres high, finished in fine materials, such as granite, marble, glass, bronze and stainless steel: selected by colour and texture to match the characteristics of the individual planet and designed by artist’s commission. The obelisks were designed to last 100 years or more and follow a long tradition of market crosses and commemorative memorials. We intended that the project would endure and celebrate the start of the new Millennium.Scientific data on the planet and information on a cross – Bristol planet trail were to be incised on each surface. At the very centre of the scheme, the sun was be surrounded by interactive computer – controlled representations of the planets housed inside a glass dome, which generated the “Music of the spheres” as they move. A powerful laser was to be mounted on the sun dome and at the top of each obelisk, to project beacons into the night sky above Bristol on selected dates.

The project raised £12000 in pilot money, but was ultimately rejected by the Millennium Commission



Visualisation of Orrery


Obelisk with Laser demonstration