Heathrow Terminal 5

The Brief 

Create an artwork announcing Heathrow’s new international terminal

The Response

Two iconic gateway works delivered in 2008 defining Terminal 5 as a site for international travel and imagination

The Team 

Heathrow Airport Holdings (previously BAA); atelier one; CMF; Neon Circus; Hyland Edgar Driver; Langlands & Bell; Laing O’Rourke

The Details 

In 2005, Heathrow Airport Holdings (previously BAA) appointed Contemporary Art Society’s Consultancy to commission an internationally renowned artist for a feature public sculpture at the new Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

Following an extensive selection process, Turner Prize-nominated artists Langlands & Bell were awarded the commission, and Consultancy worked with them from design to completion to install a spectacular artwork. Moving World (Night & Day) comprises two large neon and glass walls installed at either end of the pedestrian plaza that fronts the terminal building designed by Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners.

On each wall a luminous arc of blue neon spells out airport codes from across the globe. At the foot of each wall is a granite plinth that invites visitors to stop, rest and enjoy the play of light. The neon is programmed to give a constantly changing pattern of moving blue light that reflects in the glass walls of the new terminal building throughout the day and night.

This is a large-scale outdoor installation created to enhance and expand the Terminal 5 experience. Reflecting the excitement of international travel, Langlands and Bell describe their sculpture as “a poetry of places where landing points offer departures into the imaginary, and result in unimagined arrivals.”


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