How CSI Hull pieced together Heathrow's new main attraction
STRETCHING more than 70m metres in length and weighing 77 tonnes, Slipstream is set to become the longest, and one of the most ambitious permanent sculptures in Europe.
Combining precision engineering with the "sense of velocity and movement of a stunt plane", once completed it will fill the length of the Covered Court at Heathrow's Terminal 2, twisting across the atrium's column and integrating with the architecture.
Designed to appear as if floating through the atrium, the sculpture will be suspend up to 20m above the ground and will be a stunning sight for visitors once the terminal opens in 2014.
But before that, various sections of Slipstream can be found in Hull thanks to the skills, innovation and professional prowess of Hull company Commercial Systems International (CSI) Ltd.
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Formed in 1986, Hull specialises in the design, fabrication and installation of bespoke structures and total facades.
It has worked on a number of iconic local projects, including The Deep and Island Wharf, as well as the eye-catching glazed façade of the Archbishop Sentamu Academy project in east Hull.
Slipstream is the brainchild of renowned British sculptor Richard Wilson, who enlisted the specialist fabricators' help to help bring his design to life.
The sculpture's size has now prompted CSI to add to its existing capacity in Marfleet Avenue with additional premises in Stockholm Road.
Dave Garness, managing director of Hull-based Garness Jones, helped CSI find larger premises to complete the project.
CSI managing director Mike Green said: "The system, developed over several years as part of the new movement of digital manufacture, allows us to construct complex shapes which would normally be difficult or impossible.
"The size of Slipstream is such that we needed craneage and more height, and we were delighted when Garness Jones were able to accommodate us."
CSI was tasked by BAA to deliver the sculpture as the principle contracting party to Laing O'Rourke.