Forming the first phase of the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) in Lincoln, the steel structure is said to represent wing fragments. Its height is the same as the wingspan of a Lancaster Bomber; its base at 5m wide is the same width as a Lancaster’s wing.
Place Architecture won the design competition for the Spire and Project Architect Stephen Palmer says the brief was for a contemporary memorial.
“By using weathering steel we fulfilled the brief, but we also created a multi-layered sculpture that references flight, aircraft manufacture and is also a nod to nearby Lincoln Cathedral,” says Mr Palmer.
“Weathering steel also allowed us to design a sculpture with an organic feel and one that has a changing hue, which is ideal for its countryside setting.”
S H Structures fabricated the structure from 32 rolled weathering steel plates. Perforated panels, again reflecting the engineering principles used in airframe construction connect the external plates.
Built in jigs to maintain the shape during welding, the structure was fabricated in two sections – upper and lower parts – with sacrificial lifting frames to aid installation.
Further work will soon begin at the IBCC with the construction of a steel-framed visitor centre (known as the Chadwick Centre).
This will comprise an exhibition hall that will tell the story of Bomber Command through a multi-media experience, an education facility and a comprehensive multi-layered digital archive.