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Video: Carbon-fibre sculpture, Angel Building

This sculpture, inspired by the elastic qualities of treacle, is made from carbon fibre shells formed around a steel chassis at low level

The chassis was a requirement of fire engineers who permitted the use of only 160kg of combustible material ­ carbon is classified as combustible and steel is not.

Specialist software was used to carry out finite element analysis calculating the exact thickness of the carbon required at any given point.

The carbon shells were formed in halves and bonded to the chassis using resin-impregnated glass cloth. All joints were then polished to a smooth finish and the piece was painted using a specialist marine finish. The seat area was formed as a separate lift-out section giving access to the base plate assembly.

It comprises a carbon shell covered in a 4mm-thin fire retardant foam, upholstered in leather by Bill Amberg. The piece was installed in three pieces, the spar was split in two and lifted on to the base section using a forklift truck. It was lifted with the weight of the steel inducing a seesaw effect slewing it upwards.

Ian McChesney, founder, McChesney Architects


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