UAE Founder's Memorial
Housed within a 30m tall pavilion, this monumental artwork is the centrepiece of a permanent memorial to the UAE’s Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Designed by artist Ralph Helmick, renowned for his large scale suspended sculptures, the fabrication and installation united the best of our specialist engineering capabilities.
The sculpture comprises a total of 1,327 platonic solids suspended on 1,110 vertical steel wire cables. When viewed from the correct angle, the solids align to create a constellation style portrait of Sheikh Zayed. Extensive prototyping and testing determined a number of factors: the best way to manufacture the solids, how to attach them cleanly and accurately to the cables, how to keep the cables correctly tensioned, and finally, the best means of installation.
Precision and tightly controlling all processes were paramount. There were just 14 months from design concept to reveal, yet each solid took ten days to produce and required a level of care that meant once welded, they were never handled directly, protecting the exacting surface finish. The result is an elegant, robust and truly stunning piece of public art.