09 January 2017
ALE has transported a Siemens wind turbine blade, measuring 75m long, as part of the Hull
UK City of Culture programme.
ALE transported the wind blade under the cover of darkness on SPMTs and bolsters from
Siemens’ production facility, 3.5 miles away, through winding city streets to Queen Victoria
Once in position, it was mounted on specially-constructed supports. At the highest point it is
5.5m from the ground – allowing double-decker buses to pass under the tip of the blade. It is
believed to be the first time such a huge industrial structure has been manoeuvred into a city
centre to be displayed as a temporary art installation.
The installation is part of its contribution to the cultural and artistic programme. This was
instrumental for the artwork, ‘Blade’ by multi-media artist Nayan Kulkarni, who reinterpreted
the 75m long wind turbine blade as a monumental sculpture installed across the historic
Queen Victoria Square.
This jaw-dropping contemporary art installation is the first artwork in Look Up, a year-long
series of artist interventions in public spaces commissioned by Hull UK City of Culture 2017,
which aim to make people look at and experience the city in new ways.
The artist, Nayan Kulkarni, said: “By declaring the blade to be a work of art, we’re changing
it. It’s no longer a functional object – it does other things and has different values. As both a
turbine blade and a ready-made sculptural work of art it is beautiful.
“I think the project is extraordinary. It’s an astonishing challenge to move something of this
size into the city centre.”
The blade was applauded into the city centre by a welcoming party of 200 workers from the
Siemens factory, reflecting the pride of the workforce that the product they create will be
seen by tens of thousands of local people and visitors to the city.
Siemens UK Chief Executive Juergen Maier said: “We’re hugely excited to have worked with
Nayan Kulkarni and the City of Culture team on this dramatic, unique installation.
“This collaboration reflects our desire to make a positive impact as a Hull UK City of Culture
2017 Major Partner. ‘Blade’ brings to life the engineering and manufacturing excellence of
which we are so proud and makes it tangible for the people of Hull and visitors to the city.”
Moving and installing the blade has involved over a year of planning, also involving Hull City
Council, project consulting engineers Arup and the Police.
Dave Smith, ALE Projects Operational Manager, said: “This was a unique challenge. We
have never before moved a structure of this size into a city centre along such narrow streets.
“We’re delighted to have been entrusted by Siemens to take the blade on its journey into the
city centre and to have lifted it into position where it will take pride of place during the City of
The blade will remain in Queen Victoria Square until March 18.
ALE are currently working on a four-year Crane Framework Agreement for Siemens for the
supply and deployment of cranes, specialised tranAnglesey sport equipment and personnel at
Siemens’ new offshore wind facilities in Hull.
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