Aspire. The UK’s tallest freestanding sculpture
Everything about Aspire is impressive. As well as being a stunning visual icon, the vast height of Aspire required a remarkable feat of engineering. Providing strength for the overall height was the main consideration. To provide the strength and structural integrity required of a structure of 60 metres, a total of 854 tonnes of steel and concrete were used in the construction.
The 8 metre high concrete cylinder is constructed from a high quality self compacting concrete, supported on a 6 metre diameter 1.2 metres high secondary base transferring into a 12 metres x 12 metres x 1.5 metres deep pile cap. The pile cap is supported by 47 precast concrete piles.. The foundations are concealed with the landscaping so that only the concrete mast is visible This heavily reinforced and fully integrated structure provides the strength and mass to support the steel mast. The 86.2 tonne concrete cylinder and the foundations, which weigh approximately 600 tonnes took 10 weeks to construct.
The 52 metre steel mast is attached to the concrete cylinder by the means of a 2 metre diameter steel base plate bolted through to a continuous annular anchor plate. The steel mast was constructed from 49.6 tonnes of steel tube, and required over 400m lineal metres of precision welding. The lattice form provides further strength and structural integrity. Construction of the mast took 23 weeks, transportation by road from Bolton took another two days, with a further three days spent installing the mast on-site.
- Project Management: The University of Nottingham Estates Office and Wilson Large and Partners, Nottingham.
- Structural Engineering Consultants: Millward Partnership, Nottingham.
- Structural Design, Fabrication and Erection of Mast: Watson Steel Ltd., Bolton.
Merseyside Coatings Ltd.
- Groundworks and Column: Northfield Construction Ltd., Nottingham.