ALE has transported a 75m long Siemens wind turbine blade, which is now installed across the Queen Victoria Square as part of the Hull UK City of Culture programme.
The company transported the wind blade on SPMTs and bolsters from Siemens’ production facility, 5.6 kilometres away, through winding city streets to Queen Victoria Square. Once in position, it was mounted on specially-constructed supports. Moving and installing the blade has involved over a year of planning, also involving Hull City Council, project consulting engineers Arup and the Police.
Dave Smith, ALE Projects Operational Manager, said: “This was a unique challenge. We have never before moved a structure of this size into a city centre along such narrow streets. We’re delighted to have been entrusted by Siemens to take the blade on its journey into the city centre and to have lifted it into position where it will take pride of place during the City of Culture celebrations.”
The blade will remain in Queen Victoria Square until March 18.
The blade bisects the square, from Saville Street to Carr Lane, rising to a height of more than 5 metres at its tip, allowing double-decker buses to pass underneath. It offers a striking contrast to the familiar facades of the neo-classical Ferens Art Gallery, the Italianate Maritime Museum and Hull City Hall, Green Port Hull said.
Nayan Kulkarni, a multimedia artist known for his work with light, has taken the 75-metre long rotor blade that would normally be at the top of a wind turbine, to create the artwork called “Blade”.
The contemporary art installation is the first artwork in Look Up, a year-long series of artist interventions in public spaces commissioned by Hull UK City of Culture 2017, which aim to make people look at and experience the city in new ways.
Nayan Kulkarni said: “Blade seeks to transform Hull’s streetscape through the imposition of a single wind turbine blade. As with J.G.Ballard’s fictional ‘The Drowned Giant’ or Richard Serra’s ‘Tilted Arc’ this will be a profound material gesture, a spectacle, an obstacle and an object of wonder. This readymade artwork, 75 metres long, will divide the square forming a temporary impediment to a free flow. Carefully positioned it will force us to drift around its arabesque edges, our sight taking the place of the breeze. The twisting wing although inert and at rest in the street, speaks of movement, but not of freedom.”
B75 Rotor blades are the world’s largest handmade fibreglass components to be cast as a single object and the one being placed into the centre of Hull is one of the first to be made by workers at the Siemens factory in Hull.