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Sky Needles, Birmingham
King Edwards Rd, Birmingham, B1 2AA
Birmingham City Council
As part of the 2014 refurbishment of the then NIA (National Indoor Arena), Marshalls were asked to supply and install three No Columns as ‘Sky Needles’ on the top of the building. The three columns were 16m, 20m and 26m, and as part of the design brief, due to difficulty in gaining access to the columns for maintenance, we had to come up with a long term, low/easy, maintenance proposal for the linear ‘Light Outputs’ on the columns.
The solution was ‘Fibre Optics’ with the ‘Light Source’ housed in the base of the column, so in the event of a failure, the Light Source could be changed without having to use personnel access equipment in such an elevated location, such as the roof of the building itself. Due to the height of the building, to install the Sky Needles we needed to use an enormous 500 tonne crane which had a reach of over 100 metres.
The end result is magnificent. The galvanised steel tubes are durable and low maintenance, but provide a dramatic addition to the arena. This project is highly bespoke, with no off the shelf products included within the design. Marshalls created a truly innovative, yet practical, solution, to what was quite a complicated brief.