Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


THE CUTTY Sark, located at Greenwich, London, could be enclosed in a giant ETFE polymer bubble as part of efforts to rescue the decaying tea clipper.

The material, a polymer of ethylene and tetraflouroethylene, would be used to form a giant bubble enclosure (pictured) for the 140 year old wooden ship while renovation work on the hull and masts proceeded.

Renovation requires electrolysis treatment for metals, sealing and the replacement of major areas of timber.

A structure of air inflated tubular ribs would support the transparent 'tent', allowing the vessel to remain visible and a continuing tourist attraction.

Architect Nicolas Grimshaw's plan envisages a second stage permanent display using a Kevlar web, lifting the hull and surrounding it with a wave-like roof form to emulate the sea.

The Cutty Sark Trust has put Grimshaw's scheme forward as part of a $20M Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

A decision is due this month and work could begin in 2006.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.