‘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.