The Science of Rigging
Wednesday, 15 September 1999
Vertigo Rigging has completed the rigging of an intricate and complex art installation in the newly opened Challenge of Materials Exhibition at The Science Museum in South Kensington.Sculptor and designer Tom Heatherwick was commissioned to produce 'Materials House' a large exhibit measuring 6 x 3 metres and weighing 4.3 tonnes. The huge structure required raising and suspending from the ceiling of the exhibition. Ground support towers were built over the sculpture; the front of the sculpture was lifted first, whilst the back tracked along a rail, using base jacking wheels, specially fabricated by Vertigo. At this point the back of the piece needed to slot into a specially welded base plate in the floor, a millimetre-perfect manoeuvre achieved by jacking the wheels down at the correct point and time, thus lowering the sculpture into its grooves.

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