Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd was invited to design a landmark at the Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 welcome roundabout for British Airways + BAA in 2005.
The design seeks to represent the World, and to convey the essence of BA and BAA through its form, colour, and clean lines, to capture notions of the past, present and future. The idea of BA and BAA sharing a branding location is a challenge.
The landmark is a series of circles with a dominant white clean and crisp cloud ring 50m in diameter against the sky floating above a multitude of inclined coloured aluminium tubes that appear to move, one against the other, to create a kaleidoscope of colour, pattern and movement. This evokes the idea of life on the move. It produces a beautiful and thrilling appearance of movement while actually being static, and an impression of generosity through its expression of scale and multiplicity.
The “One World” cloud ring’s outer white underside surface is strongly illuminated by framed light beams from metal halide lamps within the aluminium tubes. They do not cast shadows upon the white outer underside surface of the cloud ring, and there is no light spillage to the sky. The inner underside will be in shadow reinforcing the floating appearance of the cloud ring. The anodised tubes are softly illuminated by metal halide lamps in IP67 rated housings, spaced around the perimeter at 4m centres.
The roundabout has a BA sign facing the arriving traffic, and a BAA sign facing the leaving traffic – both laid into hedges.