Installation in the clouds

Date Posted
7 June 2020
Caroline Bourne

Iconic Canary Wharf HSBC skyscraper installation

The Tara Signs installation crew braved the dizzying heights to install the 5m tall illuminated HSBC logos at an impressive 656ft height.

The iconic sign stands at 5m high and 30m long and in total uses over 4 miles of LED lighting. To put this into perspective imagine a London Bus is 4.4m high and 11.2m long and the African bush elephant (the largest living land animal) is 3m high and 6m long and both of these are dwarfed by the size of this signage.  Only the blue whale, the largest living creature comes close to the size of the sign, at around 30m in length and 4-6m in height - It's as big as a whale!!

To engineer and install signage at this extreme height was a challenge and we needed to produce the signage using reliable, resilient and long-lasting materials, building warranty and safety were paramount concerns.  Working from a design and performance specification we developed a manufacturable proposal.  Designing the construction of the signs, and working with structural engineers to agree the specification and all-important installation methodology.  We took into account the wind loadings, method of attachment to the building, as well as material choices that would provide low maintenance durability and longevity.

The face of the lettering was manufactured using a specially formulated LED enhancing PolyCarbonate dual colour film. This enables the letters to be black during the day and illuminated white at night. The encasing structure of the letters and logo were made with aluminium. Due to the sheer size of the letters, they were manufactured in smaller sections so that they could be transported easily and also fit in the service lift of the building and eventually passed through the window frames on the 40th floor of the building for installation.

It was a privileged to work with HSBC (one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world) proving our ability to deliver quality engineering at great heights.

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