Architectural Metalwork Installations

Metal Sculpture Installation

The O2 Ribbon

Telefonica UK, Slough

Artist: Swarm

Telefónica UK, which operates the O2 commercial brand in the UK, commissioned Swarm to produce an architectural metalwork installation for their new headquarters building in Slough.

Telefónica, an innovative company, has plans to extend O2’s services beyond mobile communication. The brief was to create a metal sculpture installation which could communicate O2’s vision and remain true to their brand values.

Stretching over 12 metres the ribbon of screens ascends out of the atrium floor, twisting and turning as it winds its way across the reception area like a digital streamer.

Innovation at
Telefónica UK.

Swarm and m-tec worked meticulously to achieve this. The result is stainless steel ribs which are laser cut, rolled and then assembled as an interlocking 3D puzzle. The installation bends its way around the geometric angles of the buildings supporting columns so the screen surface presents to every part of the atrium building. It is critical that the tiles remain parallel on the curved surfaces without becoming misaligned. This was achieved thanks to m-tec’s attention to detail.

The Technicality of
the Ribbon Design.

The polished stainless steel surface reflects the surrounding environment and the unique LED screens communicate the latest campaigns, strategies and real-time information. Art and engineering come together in the beautiful slender ribbon design. Achieving the shape in itself was a technical feat. To make the ribbon appear to organically flow around the space it had to be precisely engineered to ensure it had structural integrity with the minimum of supports.

Amanda Clay, Head of Brand Management, Telefónica Europe said:

“This is not just a beautiful piece of art, but an effective communications channel.”

Architects' Views:

Using the latest technology and the latest in manufacturing processes we have really created something special

The convergence of design, materials, technology and manufacturing are at the heart of Swarm’s ethos. This installation perfectly demonstrates how well that works


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