B of the Bang sculpture in Manchester, England

B of the Bang was one of the tallest structures in the city of Manchester. I dais “was” because, due to some techical problems, it had to be dismantled in 2009. It’s called “B of the Bang” because it took its name from a quotation of British sprinter Linford Christie, in which he said that he started his races not merely at the “bang” of the starting pistol, but at “the B of the Bang”.

B of the bangView in gallery

It’s a very impressive sculpture, a landmark in that area. B of the Bang originally stood 56 metres (184 ft) tall with 180 hollow tapered steel columns or spikes radiating from a central core. It was angled at 30 degrees and supported by five 25 m (82 ft) long, tapered steel legs which connected to the spikes 22 m (72 ft) above the ground. The sculpture weighed 165 tonnes, with the concrete in the foundations weighing over 1,000 tonnes, including a 400 m2 (4,300 sq ft) reinforced concrete slab. The foundations are 20 m (66 ft) deep.

The sculpture was designed by Thomas Heatherwick. In 2009 it had to be dismantled because the tip of one of the spikes detached and fell to the ground. It had to be placed in the storage, this being considered as the “only practical alternative” at the time. Even though the authorities promissed to take good care of it and try to solve the problem, during the the core and legs of the sculpture were cut apart.