First Look At Richard Wilson’s ‘Slipstream’ At Heathrow

What you’re looking at here is a CGI rendering of Slipstream, a massive public sculpture by Britain’s Richard Wilson that will be installed in London Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2.

The aluminum work was fabricated in collaboration with Commercial Systems International and its form is intended to conjure “an imagined flight path of a Zivko Edge 540 stunt plane.” Like many of Wilson’s sculptures, Slipstream plays with the viewer’s perception and introduces an element of perceptual wrongness or danger into the environment. “I’ve always been concerned with the ways you can change architectural space–whether it be a room or a whole building–to alter your perception, to knock your view of the world off-kilter,” he once wrote. (Personally, I’d have been delighted to see an iteration of his classic 20:50 for Heathrow, but filling an airport terminal with several feet of engine oil is probably prohibitive for logistical reasons).

Terminal 2 itself has been designed by Madrid-based Luis Vidal + Architects; a rendering of the structure’s exterior is below. There’ll be a media launch for Slipstream on April 23, and the terminal itself will be open for business on June 4.

Heathrow, computer generated image of the new Terminal 2 building at night.