BMW sculpture for the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Structural Designer

Stuart Holdsworth, Hooman Baghi, Bruno Postle

Client Name

BMW AG

Location

West Sussex, UK

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR: Littlehampton Welding

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Three swooping entangled sculptural steel pieces celebrate the Bavarian marque's centenary. A hollow monocoque steel shell construction delivers an astonishingly lightweight and rigid structure pushing all the boundaries of form, curvature, span and slenderness. For the client brief the aim was for the sculpture to be flawless, with perfectly smooth curves and not so much as a single ripple in the steel to break the spell.

Judge's comment:

This massive sculpture, consisting of three swooping, entangled sculptural steel pieces, was created to celebrate BMW’s centenary. The hollow, steel shell construction delivers an astonishingly lightweight and rigid structure, creating an effect of three weightless spars tipped by cars, floating and looping around each other.

The shells structures are very thin, varying from just 20mm thick at the areas of highest load, down to 6mm thick at the top. With such thin shells buckling was a major consideration, but the clever curved design helped rather than hindered the structure, its geometry stiffening the form sufficiently without needing an internal skeleton.