Wymondham firm Polar Manufacturing’s ingenuity behind new Heathrow T2 sculpture

Engineers install the Emergence, made and designed by Wymondham-based Polar Manufacturing at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 2 building. Engineers install the Emergence, made and designed by Wymondham-based Polar Manufacturing at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 2 building.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
9:44 AM

Wymondham-based Polar Manufacturing is set to take an added interest in today’s opening of Heathrow’s new terminal two building after designing a complex carbon lighting sculpture for one of the restaurant buildings.

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The Emergence, made and designed by Wymondham-based Polar Manufacturing at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 2 buildingThe Emergence, made and designed by Wymondham-based Polar Manufacturing at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 2 building

The terminal is set to open today ahead of an official opening by the Queen later this month.

And the firm, which employs 20 staff and is set for a turnover of about £1m this year, successfully completed a race around the clock to complete the audacious 13 metre structure, named Emergence, for the Caviar House & Prunier seafood bar and restaurant, which was commissioned by Cinimod Studio.

The lighting sculpture comprises of LED arcs spiralling up to the ceiling, and utilises a transfer of technologies from other industries, borrowing heavily from the engineered carbon fibre composites, as found in the newest airplanes.

First commissioned in October 2013, the design, which was not approved until the beginning of this year, comprises 356 separate components and had to be made in segments for delivery to the airport. A team of four people were then on site for three weeks, finishing the installation just before Easter.

Mike Harris, managing director, said the tooling design, machinery and making of parts took seven weeks with project and design co-ordinator, Simon Gibbs, and his team working 577 hours of overtime in February alone to complete it.

He said: “We’re extremely proud to have played a key part in the production of this high profile and complex project. It was extremely challenging and had to be manufactured, then built on site by our team, to meet a very tight deadline. However, we believe anything is possible! We’re delighted with the result and proud of the result. It’s a great example of what British design and engineering can achieve.”

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