HS Projects was appointed by Heathrow to re-locate ‘Flight Structure’ by Sandra Blow, R.A. (1925 – 2006) to the Compass Centre, Heathrow’s new Head Office, in 2013. Working in close collaboration with Heathrow and BDP Architects, we examined a number of locations for ‘Flight Structure’ and identified a site on the ground floor in the East Block.
‘Flight Structure’ first underwent extensive restoration by Mike Smith Studios, including upgrading the lighting system from fluorescent to LED, complete re-wiring, and replacement of the stainless steel facia panels, re-configuring the work from wall based to free-standing. It was installed into the ground floor of the Compass Centre East Block, forming a focal point visible from the centre of the building and functioning as an architectural screen between the cafe seating area and kitchenette, thus maintaining Blow’s original consideration for the screen to have an element of functionality.
The shape and dimensions of ‘Flight Structure’ were originally determined by the Terminal 3 departures hall’s security gateway for passengers to move airside. These architectural references are typical of Blow’s work, especially since her collaboration with the architect Eric Defty in the 1970’s.
This commission being Blow’s only large scale experimentation with glass, forms an important part of the artist’s body of work. According to the artist herself: ‘Flight Structure is balanced to give the sense of a secure enclosure, whilst the luminous, coloured glass panels lift off into animation and gaiety,…with colours running across the top, taking off into flight.’
HS Projects re-located ‘Flight Structure’ to the Compass Centre in 2013.
In 2015 HS Projects was invited by Heathrow Airport to re-assess and evaluate their art collection during a period of the company’s re-structuring.
In close consultation with our client, we selected a number of works originally commissioned as part of the BAA Art Programme (1994 to 1999) and earlier acquisitions that have relevance to Heathrow, its re-structured business and brand. These works formed the Heathrow Art Collection.
We curated and installed the works into their new corporate head office at The Compass Centre, Heathrow Airport. In re-siting the works, we considered the original criteria and purpose of the work in identifying sites to ensure the integrity of the work is maintained in its new location.
The Heathrow Collection includes works by Brendan Neiland, Robyn Denny, Victor Pasmore, Sandra Blow, Marcia Raff, Guy Noble, Jonathan Waller and Adrian Hemming.