Sky Dance - RAF Museum, Hendon, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 35.845 W 000° 14.263
30U E 691311 N 5719878
Quick Description: "Sky Dance" is a 25 metre tall steel structure that was created and erected to celebrate 100 years of powered, controlled flight. The RAF Museum in London that is open 10am to 6pm and entry is free. The event was reported by the BBC.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/7/2015 1:01:27 AM
Waymark Code: WMNFMH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 1

Long Description:

The RAF Museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm with admission being free. Carparking is available but there is a charge. The nearest underground station is Colindale about a 10-15 minute walk away or a number 303 bus passes both the tube station and museum.

The BBC website reported that:

Aviation sculpture to change skyline.

An 80-foot sculpture marking 100 years of aviation is being constructed in north London.

Work begins on Monday to build Sky Dance, designed by Japanese-born architect and sculptor Kisa Kawakami, outside the Royal Air Force Museum.

It will stand at the entrance of the new Milestones of Flight exhibition hall at the museum in Grahame Park Way, Kingsbury.

The solid steel sculpture is made up of a series of dramatic curves and cascading spirals which are intended to "encapsulate aspects of aircraft structure, airflow, speed and aerodynamics".

The new exhibition hall, which opens to the public on 18 December, will contain suspended aircraft and a time wall of the last 100 years of flight.

It will be launched on 17 December, to mark the centenary of the world's first sustained airplane flight by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina USA.

The plaque, attached to the sculpture, is inscribed:

"Sky Dance"

Aerobatics, air flow, vapour trails,
dynamics, structure and stresses

A sculpture for
the Royal Air Force Museum
to celebrate
100 years of powered, controlled flight

Conceived by sculptor
Kisa Kawakami

Realised by
Feilden Clegg Bradley - Architects
Buro Happold - Engineers
SH Structures - Fabricators

17th December 2003

The New Steel Construction website tells us about the sculpture:

The Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon, North London, has just built a new museum to house and display its large collection of military aircraft. The building, a giant silver tunnel-shaped hangar, has a striking 25 metre tall steel entrance canopy, designed by the Japanese sculptor, Kisa Kawakami.

The canopy touches the ground to provide benches for passers by, then rises to provide shelter at the entrance to the building. Sculptor Kisa Kawakami worked with structural engineers Buro Happold and architects Fielden Clegg Bradley to transform his original 25cm high paper model into reality.

The sculpture is one of the biggest pieces of permanent artwork in Britain, consisting of 20 tonnes of plate steel ribbons supported by a central cantilever post. Kisa quickly realised when making his model that a central post would be required to support the ribbons. Buro Happold has designed this post to be significantly stiffer than the ribbons, attracting the majority of the wind load and allowing the individual ribbons to be light. The use of a cylindrical section means that any torsion arising from wind loads can be carried directly down to the ground, where 48 mm diameter bolts take loads to the piled foundation. A goalpost frame at the entrance to the building gives additional lateral stability.

The five ribbons, each nearly a metre wide, are made of 12mm thick plate with three web stiffeners forming an “E” shape to give them strength whilst maintaining a lightweight, open section. Each stiffener was cut to the specific curve of the ribbon, providing a profile onto which the curved backing plate could be welded. Sliding joints at key locations prevent the ribbons from acting as props to the cantilever, which would result in them buckling under high winds.

Low frequency vibrations, caused by vortex shedding from the central post, could potentially have been a problem for this structure, and a dynamic analysis was carried out to check these effects. In fact, the windspeed for vortex shedding that coincides with the natural frequency of the sculpture was found to be very low. The deflections induced at this windspeed are insignificant, and hence no mitigation measures were required.

SH Structures Ltd was the steelwork contractor for the building, and it fabricated the entire sculpture off-site at its factory in Yorkshire. The sculpture was erected there to check for any imperfections, and then transported to London in sections and reassembled on the concrete pad foundations. There was little room for tolerance, with 18 bolts already cast into the pilecap at the main support, and no over-sizing of holes. The use of a casting template sheet, produced by SHS to the exact dimensions of the main baseplate, meant that bolts had been perfectly positioned and the main cantilever could be lifted directly into place. The joints between sections were then site welded and ground flush to achieve the same smooth finish as for the rest of the sculpture.

The distinctive yellow and grey colours of the sculpture can be seen from the motorway that passes behind the museum. This high profile entrance should attract more visitors to the astounding display of aircraft hung from the roof of the new building, an engineering feat worth an article in itself.

Type of publication: Television

When was the article reported?: 9/1/2003

Publication: BBC News

Article Url: [Web Link]

Is Registration Required?: no

How widespread was the article reported?: regional

News Category: Arts/Culture

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