Digital Sculpture at Heathrow Airport Demonstrates that Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Troika—Cloud—2008-_7117.jpgCommissioned for the atrium of the brand spanking new Terminal 5 at Heathrow, Cloud is a digital sculpture conceived by art and design studio Troika. The five-metre structure is suspended above the escalators and consists of three layers. Find out what lies beneath the black and silver flick-dots, and see the sculpture in action below the gallery.


On top of an aluminium body sit 4,638 dots that can turn from silver to black in one quick flick. Beneath that lies two electronic drivers, 134 distribution boards and over 16,500 feet of cable. Controlling the flip-dots was harder than normal, however, and Pharos Architectural Controls, a company which develops electronic controllers for lighting applications, had to fiddle around with the control parameters and rewrite firmware on the drivers.

I like the flicka-flicka noise as the Cloud changes colour—It reminds me of the old-skool arrivals and departures boards in airports before everything went TV monitor-tastic. Terminal 5 opens on March 27 of this year, and if you're flying into London via BA, don't forget to look up as you hit the down escalator. [YouTube and Troika]

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