Slipstream, Heathrow Terminal 2, London

A 78m long sculpture in the new Heathrow Terminal 2 building. The sculpture is based on the movement of an aerobatic stunt plane flying through the terminal’s entrance space. Spanning between four steel columns, 20m above the floor and clad in riveted aluminium, Slipstream has a hidden armature structure that supports its continuously undulating plywood stress-skin surface. We undertook almost two years of research and development; creating from first principles a way of accurately tracing the swept motion volume of the plane, which could then be subdivided into over 32,000 unique steel, plywood and aluminium parts, together with over a quarter of a million rivets carefully positioned across its surface.

Completed 2014.

Client
Heathrow

Artist
Richard Wilson

Fabricator
Commercial Systems International

Curator
Futurecity

Contractor
Laing O'Rourke

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