Customer: Westfield / KidZania in Westfield Shopping Centre, London
To design, fabricate and deliver a 6m long aeroplane fuselage. To be installed in the entrance to KidZania in Westfield London. It is required to protrude unsupported above the customer entranceway. It will need to be an authentic representation of a British Airways A320 Airbus, and presented to a very high finish, to be well maintained and an ongoing feature to the dramatic entrance.
Working closely with Westfield management and their special projects team, and KidZania, it was clear that there were four main challenges to this project.
- Engineering: the fuselage needed to be seemingly unsupported and durable, requiring design and fabrication of some major steel support structures, and matching alterations to the Westfield KidZania entranceway. Also the entrance to the centre was restricted in height, and there was an element of specialised crane lifting required.
- Weight: due to the challenge of supporting such a large shape and moving into place, this needed to be fabricated in as light weight solution as possible, whilst remaining robust.
- Install: had to be an overnight installation, essential that the piece is able to be installed quickly and easily.
- Lead time: quick to coincide with half term school holidays and to not interfere with other Westfield projects – Christmas displays and Grotto were to be installed at the same time.
Pinewood Creative generated a 3D CAD model of a suitable aircraft, which was approved by KidZania and British Airways. We liaised with the Westfield supplied structural engineers and steel fabricator to ensure that what we fabricated would fit their requirements.
The solution was to CNC mill sections of the aircraft fuselage from high density polystyrene, designed to fit together around the bespoke steel beam. The fuselage shape needed to be supported at either end, so that the Pinewood Creative team could work on the surface finish at the same time.
Along with our on-site rigging specialists, we designed and fabricated a bespoke truss frame, to allow our team to apply a hard coat, sand smooth, and paint. This truss frame would then be reconfigured to transport the structure into Westfield.
We estimated that eight weeks lead time would be required to perform this work, we had four.
A dramatic entrance piece for the London Westfield KidZania entranceway delivered on time, within budget and fulfilled the clients’ high expectations.
It is a showcase to be proud of for both British Airways and KidZania.
Facts & figures:
- 720 hours of workshop fabrication, half of which was spent filling and sanding the surface to ensure the best possible finish.
- ½ tonnes of steel RSJ structural beam, which was clad with 400 kilos of high density EPS (expanded polystyrene), and 150 kilos of spray plastic shell and paint.