Slipstream, Heathrow Terminal 2
Price & Myers
London, United Kingdom
Images: © David Levene - LHR Airports Limited / Maarten Kleinhout / Price & Myers
Slipstream is a giant sculpture by Richard Wilson RA suspended above the heads of passengers in the new Heathrow Terminal 2 building expressing the movement of a stunt plane flying through the terminal’s entrance space. Nearly 78m long, and weighing 77 tonnes, this is the longest permanent sculpture in Europe, made from around 32,000 unique, digitally fabricated aluminium, plywood and steel parts. Construction was pre-fabricated throughout with 23 pre-made cassettes, each weighing between 3-4 tonnes, brought to site for installation.
This is an impressive piece of engineering design and fabrication that will be seen and enjoyed by millions every year. The engineers worked closely with the artist using sophisticated numerical modelling to ensure the aesthetic and technical requirements were brought into harmony. It is a great example of the coming together of creative art and creative engineering and is a lasting tribute to man’s creative energy and inspiration.