Landmark structure is fast gaining iconic status

West is on the Rise once more

By Francesca Ryan

RISE, the landmark public artwork on Belfast’s Broadway Roundabout, has won a major international design award.

The 37.5 metre high sculpture by the Nottingham artist Wolfgang Buttress won the Small Projects category at the annual Institution of Structural Engineer Structural Awards, which were presented in London at the weekend.

It is unusual for a sculpture to be nominated for these awards and RISE is believed to be one of the first such structures to have won such an award.

“Pure sculptural structures are amongst the most difficult to achieve successfully, as everything is on view and will be scrutinised down to the finest detail,” said the judges in their commendation.  “It is therefore a real pleasure to find a creation such as this, which admirably projects the artist’s original vision and at the same time celebrates the aesthetic beauty of pure, efficient structure for its own sake.”

RISE was in good company. Other winners included the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, the Al-hamra Firdous Tower in Kuwait, the redevelopment of King’s Cross Station in London, the Jarrold Bridge in Norwich, the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver, Tunbridge Wells Hospital and the Iron Market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The Peace Bridge in Derry was also commended in its category.

RISE is made up of more than 65,000 individual parts and was manufactured by M Hasson and Sons Ltd of Rasharkin. Standing 37.5 metres – or 123 feet – the sculpture is a metre taller than the twin spires of nearby St Peter’s Cathedral, three metres taller than the Albert Clock and twice the height of Gateshead’s Angel of the North. It’s just 8.5 metres shorter than the Statue Of Liberty.

The sculpture is 30 metres in diameter and weighs the equivalent of six double-decker buses.

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