Creating an iconic expression of London
Developing a distinct Sense of Place that communicates a genuine ‘local’ flavour is often a major challenge for airports
For some, the ‘Arts’ has been a key inspiration, with art collections, sculptures and local crafts providing a unique and distinctly local or national expression.
When TDS was challenged to create an expression of London for the radically redeveloped Heathrow Terminal 2, we needed to think beyond the artworks and collections we had seen at other airports. The installation needed to be an iconic symbol of the UK’s capital city, a flag-waving expression of London and its spirit. And it would be instantly familiar not only to British travellers but also to travellers from all over the world.
After the team had looked at scores of iconic symbols – from teapots to red telephone boxes, royal palaces to pubs – the answer was found…right outside the terminal!
Kevin Patience, Project Leader, takes up the story, “The London taxi – the classic black cab – was not only a true icon of London but, wonderfully, was also exactly the right size for the ‘parking space’ available to us in the centre of the lounge floor. However, to preserve passenger sightlines, we couldn’t place such a large black mass in the middle of the lounge. We looked at using a clear glass-type material, but found that would weigh too much. Then we discovered an artist, Benedict Radcliffe, who specialises in creating amazing works in metal rods.”