We worked with Nottingham based artist Wolfgang Buttress who had been commissioned to design an artwork to the main elevation of a new five-storey office and laboratory building being built in a prominent location in Nottingham for the Bioscience industry.

This artwork was also required to act as a brise soleil to control the solar gain on the building. The solution involves over one hundred cables hung outside the front of the elevation, supported on cantilevered steelwork at roof level and at first floor level. These cables are partly threaded over their length with bespoke aluminium extrusions of varying sizes. Some cables also have fibre optic cables secured to them. The fibre optic cables are controlled so that the light they emit varies in colour and intensity according to signals received from earthbound observatories which are measuring sun spot activity.

The 17m long cables are fixed just top and bottom and resist wind loading through developing tension and catenary action. The sizes of the cables and the amount of pre-tensioning is different in each cable and has been designed to keep movement to acceptable amplitudes in windy conditions.

Completed 2017.

Project Information


Nottingham City Council


Wolfgang Buttress




Lamar Francois