‘Granite Sculpture II’, Tim Harrisson

For ‘Granite Sculpture II’, Tim Harrisson responded to Michael Manser’s new terminal building for Southampton Airport, the geography of the South Downs, the ancient history of the area and the impression of take-off and landing.

‘I wanted to complement the fine horizontal structure of the new terminal building by the architect Michael Manser and so convey a visual impression of ascent and descent. My main aim was to capture the idea and physical experience of movement, reflecting the dynamic view of landscape both as we see its physical surface and its underlying geological structure. By selecting granite, this allowed me to tap into the hidden geological forms which shape and continue to slowly re-mould the landscape we live in and move through. The way a landscape ‘appears’ to change as we actually look at it, either from sea, land or air, is also echoed in the piece as one moves around it, or indeed from above a plane which is landing or taking off, each different viewpoint dramatically altering our viewpoint and visual perception of the work.’

We managed the commission process from concept through to completion. Working closely with our client, we established the opportunities and constraints of the commission, developed the artist’s brief and managed the artist selection process, design, fabrication, site preparation, installation and opening.

We commissioned ‘Granite Sculpture II’ in 1995 on behalf of Southampton Airport, Hampshire.

‘Flight Structure Part II’, Sandra Blow

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.

‘Throwing Caution’, Chris Wainwright

We commissioned Chris Wainwright in 1996 for a series of site specific works for Heathrow Airport Terminal 4. Wainwright works primarily through photography and video as a means of addressing issues related to light and energy, both natural and artificial, in urban and rural environments. The work is made as a direct response to ‘place’ and is often the result of an intervention, a temporary action or construction made for the camera as a unique form of witness for the recording of light.

For Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, Wainwright produced a series of photographic studies entitled ‘Throwing Caution’ and a pair of images entitled ‘The Lower Lake’ which explore making marks with light within the Scottish landscape.

We commissioned ‘Throwing Caution’ and ‘The Lower Lake’ as part of the BAA Art Programme in 1996.