Cable Net – Temenos Art Work, Middlesbrough

Cable netCable Net Technology

English Partnerships

Anish Kapoor

Principal Contractor
Balfour Beatty

Structural Engineer

Contract Duration
6 months

Works Completed
September 2009

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In 2009, the Tees Valley Regeneration body wanted a landmark artwork to aid the regeneration of Middlehaven in Middlesbrough. World class artist Anish Kapoor won the commission and has produced Temenos – a 106m long by 40m high cable net which resembles a trawler net in the sky.

The net comprises 64no 10mm and 16mm diameter Dyform stainless steel spiral strands which are stretched between two huge steel rings and pulled into shape by 49no 10mm diameter cable hoops. The rings are held in place against the tension in the net by 32mm diameter Dyform stainless steel spiral strand back-stays. At one end the symmetry is deliberately disrupted by an elliptical ring which is canted over by about 10o and twisted. The elliptical ring is held in the air by cables coming from the top of a 45m high mast which, in turn, is back-stayed by eight 32mm diameter cables. The largest ring weighs 55t and is 32m in diameter.

Freyssinet carried out the supply and erection of the cable net and back-stays. With the rings lying flat on the ground beneath their final positions, the cable net was loosely woven at ground level. This was to maximise safety by avoiding working at height whenever possible. The circular ring was then be craned into position and temporarily propped. Then the mast and elliptical ring will be raised and, with it, the cable net stretched out between the rings. The final cable connections were made and the net checked for alignment and appearance before the elliptical ring was jacked into its final position near to the top of the mast.

Anish Kapoor is a Turner prize winning artist. His other works include the bean-shaped “Cloud Gate” in Chicago, the 9/11 memorial at New York’s Ground Zero and “Marsyas” in London’s Tate Modern, a tensioned fabric sculpture similar in shape to Temenos.

The name “Temenos” comes from Greek meaning land cut off and assigned as a sanctuary or holy area. The stainless steel cables of the structure reflect the heritage of Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley.