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Walter Jack wins Lincoln Bomber Command memorial job


Walter Jack Studio with Atkins has defeated Feilden Clegg Bradley and Lincoln-based Place to design a new Bomber Command memorial in East Anglia

Planned to open in May 2015, the installation and visitor centre will honour the 25,000 locally-based airmen who died in World War II bombing raids.

The winning scheme – called The Spire of Names – features a 50 metre-tall conical spire displaying the names of lost aircrews.

Constructed from weathering CORTEN steel, the structure will be perforated using water jet cutting to show the names.

The project – backed by Tony Worth, the Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, whose father served in Bomber Command – will be built on Canwick Hill overlooking Lincoln Cathedral

Walter Jack said: ‘I was struck firstly by the sheer numbers who gave their lives as volunteers to Bomber Command - and secondly by the stories of huge bravery and courage. If we can build something halfway worthy of these men we will have done well.’

Atkins design director Dominic Pask added: ‘We’ve designed all sorts of complex structures around the world but it’s not often you have the opportunity to apply these skills to a memorial which carries so much importance.

‘It’s been extremely rewarding working with Walter Jack on the concept for this sustainable and striking structure which will stand as a fitting memorial for generations to come.’

Atkins worked with structural artist Walter Jack on the scheme and provided structural engineering and architectural services for the design.

Liam O’Connor’s £6 million Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London was officially opened by the Queen last summer.


SPIRE info

Height: 50 metres
Diameter of Base: 5.0 metres
Thickness of Steel Plate: 10mm
Weight of Steel Superstructure: 35 tonnes
Weight of Pilecap Base: 150 tonnes
No. of Piles: 8

The structure consists of a conical shell with three full height slots. The shell is formed of 8.0mm thick curved CORTEN steel that has been perforated using water jet cutting to remove the spaces between the letters forming the names of the aircrew.

This process does not affect the physical properties of the steel but will affect the in-plane stiffness.

The CORTEN steel is also known as weathering steel and forms a rust-coloured durable protective skin that will be engineered for a design life of 120 years with no maintenance. This is the same material that has been used on the Angle of the North sculpture.

The steel shell sections have stiffened edges formed of box sections that carry the majority of the axial loads. The shells provide lateral support to the box sections and act as a diaphragm to stop the structure from twisting.

At intervals along the height there are rings of CORTEN that keep the shells in a circular shape over the full height of the structure. During the erection of the structure these rings can be used to bolt one section to the next.

A key design aspect of any tall slim structure is its interaction with the wind, in theory the perforated surface should disrupt the formation of vortices that could cause the structure to vibrate. This will need to be proved by wind tunnel testing before the design is finalised.

The memorial is being designed to take advantage of energy saving measures such as LED lighting, Photovoltaics (PV’s), and ground source heat pumps

Source: Atkins








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