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  • A bullet from a shooting star

    Introduction

    Tata Steel was invited to support the London Design Festival’s Landmark Project. Conceptual artist Alex Chinneck is well known for elevating everyday structures into the extraordinary, introducing an element of fantasy into familiar situations. This was to be his first large project built in steel and also his most ambitious.

    Detailed Information

    Summary

    Summary

    • Design guidance

      Ensure appropriate choice of materials on cost, performance and availability basis

    • Wide product range

      Complete range of steel products for common applications

    • Additional processing

      Cut-to-length so you only take what is needed

    • Small quantities

      Available from stock for immediate delivery

    Quite simply, this project would not have been possible without your enthusiasm, generosity and support. Thank you so so much and I sincerely hope we will work together again very soon.

    Alex Chinneck


    Introduction

    Tata Steel was invited to support the London Design Festival’s Landmark Project. Conceptual artist Alex Chinneck is well known for elevating everyday structures into the extraordinary, introducing an element of fantasy into familiar situations. This was to be his first large project built in steel and also his most ambitious.

    The challenge

    ‘A Bullet from a Shooting Star’ takes the form of a conventional electricity pylon, but inverted as if shot into the ground from outer space. In this instance, the challenge was primarily around coordinating the supply of a large number of small, and uniquely sized, components at short notice.

    The solution

    Rotherham Metal Centre took ownership of the project, given their relative proximity to Litestructures, the specialist steelwork fabricator responsible for the build. Working with the structural engineers, Smith & Wallwork, and the project team, section sizes and specifications were identified that could be provided from our extensive stocks, whilst still meeting the brief.

    The product

    A number of Advance® sections were supplied, in a wide range of sizes, lengths and strengths. Depending upon the phase of the build, different cut ends, either mitre or straight, were supplied against a detailed production and delivery schedule together with smaller amounts of other steel products. 



    Challenge

    Challenge

    At first view, the sculpture appears a relatively straightforward construction, taking the traditional form of an electricity pylon and inverting it. As such, larger and stronger Advance sections would now be used in the ‘tip’ of the pylon that it seems to be pivoted on. This needed to be undertaken whilst retaining the appearance of a regular pylon, and also account for the cantilevered foundations and cable stay.

    Tight design schedule with challenging delivery window

    However, the nature of the project created more practical issues, namely the supply of multiple components in small quantities against tight deadlines, as the launch event for the sculpture was already declared. Due to the unusual nature of the sculpture, and the challenge of securing funding, subtle design changes were being made until the last possible moment.

    The need to manage complexity on unusual projects

    Standing some 35m in height, a mixture of welded and bolted connections were used, with differing end details. The sculpture contained:

    • 524 individual parts

    • 10 different section sizes and two different steel grades

    • 108 different lengths, from just 311mm to 12.75m

    • a mix of straight and mitre cuts

    • smallest part is just 1kg, but the largest part is 293kg

    such that each part was unique in specification. The sculpture was to be fabricated in fifteen discrete phases, which would then be transported to Greenwich Peninsula for assembly and installation. Therefore, an added complexity was the phasing of the parts, from procurement, through cutting to length and delivery without introducing prohibitive costs. 

    Solution

    Solution

    Our Metal Centre network offers a quick and convenient way to buy smaller quantities of a wide choice of our steel product range, including sections, bar, angles, channels, plate, sheet, mesh, flooring and hand-railing products. Due to the proximity of the specialist fabricator in Wakefield, our Rotherham Metal Centre took ownership of the project.

    Advice and guidance on product availability

    For this particular project, the challenge was not the existence of the required steel products, but their availability in such small amounts and at relatively short notice. Therefore, our team were able to influence both the steel grade and specifications towards products that were more readily available from stock, rather than from mill rollings whose timescale would not fit the project and order quantities way below typical minimum order sizes.

    Flexible processing and delivery

    Each part was unique in specification, and was required at a particular point of the fabrication process, as the fifteen sub-sections were being built and delivered to site. Therefore, a cutting programme was designed to provide the sections at the fabricator in the order that they were needed, individually numbered to aid the process. Balancing the costs of supply, with the amount of steel being supplied, and the large size of the sculpture (and space needed to assemble), required frequent interaction between Tata Steel, the structural engineer and specialist fabricator, with a need to flexibly respond to changes at short-noticed.

    Gallery

    Gallery

    Summary

    • Design guidance

      Ensure appropriate choice of materials on cost, performance and availability basis

    • Wide product range

      Complete range of steel products for common applications

    • Additional processing

      Cut-to-length so you only take what is needed

    • Small quantities

      Available from stock for immediate delivery

    Quite simply, this project would not have been possible without your enthusiasm, generosity and support. Thank you so so much and I sincerely hope we will work together again very soon.

    Alex Chinneck


    Introduction

    Tata Steel was invited to support the London Design Festival’s Landmark Project. Conceptual artist Alex Chinneck is well known for elevating everyday structures into the extraordinary, introducing an element of fantasy into familiar situations. This was to be his first large project built in steel and also his most ambitious.

    The challenge

    ‘A Bullet from a Shooting Star’ takes the form of a conventional electricity pylon, but inverted as if shot into the ground from outer space. In this instance, the challenge was primarily around coordinating the supply of a large number of small, and uniquely sized, components at short notice.

    The solution

    Rotherham Metal Centre took ownership of the project, given their relative proximity to Litestructures, the specialist steelwork fabricator responsible for the build. Working with the structural engineers, Smith & Wallwork, and the project team, section sizes and specifications were identified that could be provided from our extensive stocks, whilst still meeting the brief.

    The product

    A number of Advance® sections were supplied, in a wide range of sizes, lengths and strengths. Depending upon the phase of the build, different cut ends, either mitre or straight, were supplied against a detailed production and delivery schedule together with smaller amounts of other steel products. 



    Challenge

    At first view, the sculpture appears a relatively straightforward construction, taking the traditional form of an electricity pylon and inverting it. As such, larger and stronger Advance sections would now be used in the ‘tip’ of the pylon that it seems to be pivoted on. This needed to be undertaken whilst retaining the appearance of a regular pylon, and also account for the cantilevered foundations and cable stay.

    Tight design schedule with challenging delivery window

    However, the nature of the project created more practical issues, namely the supply of multiple components in small quantities against tight deadlines, as the launch event for the sculpture was already declared. Due to the unusual nature of the sculpture, and the challenge of securing funding, subtle design changes were being made until the last possible moment.

    The need to manage complexity on unusual projects

    Standing some 35m in height, a mixture of welded and bolted connections were used, with differing end details. The sculpture contained:

    • 524 individual parts

    • 10 different section sizes and two different steel grades

    • 108 different lengths, from just 311mm to 12.75m

    • a mix of straight and mitre cuts

    • smallest part is just 1kg, but the largest part is 293kg

    such that each part was unique in specification. The sculpture was to be fabricated in fifteen discrete phases, which would then be transported to Greenwich Peninsula for assembly and installation. Therefore, an added complexity was the phasing of the parts, from procurement, through cutting to length and delivery without introducing prohibitive costs. 

    Solution

    Our Metal Centre network offers a quick and convenient way to buy smaller quantities of a wide choice of our steel product range, including sections, bar, angles, channels, plate, sheet, mesh, flooring and hand-railing products. Due to the proximity of the specialist fabricator in Wakefield, our Rotherham Metal Centre took ownership of the project.

    Advice and guidance on product availability

    For this particular project, the challenge was not the existence of the required steel products, but their availability in such small amounts and at relatively short notice. Therefore, our team were able to influence both the steel grade and specifications towards products that were more readily available from stock, rather than from mill rollings whose timescale would not fit the project and order quantities way below typical minimum order sizes.

    Flexible processing and delivery

    Each part was unique in specification, and was required at a particular point of the fabrication process, as the fifteen sub-sections were being built and delivered to site. Therefore, a cutting programme was designed to provide the sections at the fabricator in the order that they were needed, individually numbered to aid the process. Balancing the costs of supply, with the amount of steel being supplied, and the large size of the sculpture (and space needed to assemble), required frequent interaction between Tata Steel, the structural engineer and specialist fabricator, with a need to flexibly respond to changes at short-noticed.

    Gallery

    Contact us

    • Rotherham Metal Centre
    • Tata Metal Centre Rotherham
    • Tata Steel, The Old T Bay Roundwood, Aldwarke Lane
    • Rotherham, South Yorkshire
    • S65 3ES
    • T 01709 826728
    • F 01709 826496
    • E rotherhammc.sales@tatasteel.com