Project Description

Umbrellas Project - Heathrow Terminal 5

Project:T5 Umbrellas Project
Location: Heathrow, T5
Client: Mace Ltd

Job Description

The Umbrella Project is an art installation utilising 330 brightly coloured umbrellas aimed at raising awareness of ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dyspraxia. The project was designed to celebrate the gifts, talents and employability of individuals diagnosed with these conditions, ADHD and Autism are often used as the “Umbrella” term for such conditions.

Once completed there was 2.5Km of steel cable and 3000 fittings, weighing a total of 1 Tonne, suspended over the forecourt.


The intention was to create an impression of umbrellas floating 10m above the forecourt. The engineering challenge was to create a flat, level wire framework from which to suspend the umbrellas. This was achieved using 6mm steel cables suspended from the surrounding roof parapets and involved creating bespoke bracketry. Secondary and tertiary cables were then added and then the whole structure tensioned up under strict controls to create the level platform 10m up. The work involved three 15m Scissor Lifts, two 28m Cherry Pickers and one 25m telehandler.


The programme was extremely tight. There was one week lead-in to work with the design team and develop a safe working method. This was followed by just 2 weeks on site, with 24 hour shifts being worked in the second week.

Benefits to Client

Meads relationships with key suppliers meant we were able source materials with same day deliveries. Bespoke steel brackets were designed on Fridays and delivered to site on Mondays. We were able to provide over 15 skilled men willing to work long shifts and rotate experienced managers over the 7 day and 24 hour working windows.

This project has much appreciated support from a key supplier