It’s not totally uncommon to be working alongside grade-listed buildings. Part of our job at Mtec is to ensure no damage is done to historic buildings, artworks or people… and sometimes birds.
This installation was particularly sensitive and difficult; a Cerith Wyn Evans neon text piece suspended over the Regent’s Canal in London Zoo. The site visit was a week before the install – unfortunately, days before, the original contractors had pulled out due to the complexity of the project. We knew we had a very busy week on our hands.
Working with the original plans of Cedric Price from 1962, our praiseworthy structural engineers Prices & Myres had to start afresh.
After days of number crunching, they constructed a 3D model to work out forces on the structure. With the fixing to the aviary having to be something that couldn’t damage or mark the listed structure, some bespoke fixings had to be speedily fabricated at our workshop, ready for the installation the following day.
Waiting for a clear day in October doesn’t really work in London, so despite the weather being pretty horrific, the installation went ahead. The final testing and touches were finished just before dusk so as not to disturb the roosting patterns of the birds in the aviary.