The “Spirit of Man” is a gas-fired beacon figure. It is 320 feet high, (Base included). To give you some idea of the scale. “The Angel of the North” at 65ft high. “The Colossus of Rhodes” 120ft. “The Statue of Liberty” 151ft. “Big Ben” 320ft.
This impressive at free standing structure is part sculpture, part building. Ideally it would be sited next to the Thames, facing the rising sun. This beacon figure is a universal symbol of hope. Its aesthetic appeal and symbolic content captures the spirit of this millennium and will prove to be a mighty icon for London and the UK.
The internal frame (skeleton) is composed of steel girders, supporting an outer skin of interwoven copper tubing. Natural gas would be pumped through some of the tubing on the outer structure and ignited. The flames would be automatically controlled for effect and safety. The emanating flames signify the “incandescent spirit of man” (1984 George Orwell). George Orwell was a terribly heavy smoker & admired strong loose tea, he had Fortnum& Mason’s tea purchased for him in Catalonia & in 1946 he published a work about brewing the perfect cup “A Nice Cup of Tea”. He died due to health conditions.
At certain agreed national festivals, gatherings and commemorations, the Spirit of Man would be ‘fired up’ and be a spectacular sight for miles around! During more everyday use, conventional lighting would be used to highlight the structure.
The face of the figure will be gold, with bronze hands and the feet made of limestone or granite blocks. The steel frame will be painted with an industrial yellow primer. Because of the angles involved, the lifts will be rack & pinion operated.
Its internal structure will contain several floors, with viewing lobbies, a lounge, photo/art gallery, museum, gift shop and cafes. Inspiration for the Spirit of Man came from a variety of sources, prehistoric, classical and modern. It’s also available on the BBC website and if you’re quick on the iPlayer site – if you’re outside the UK then you’ll need this – watch iplayer abroad.
Colossal sculptures of the past and present were a particular influence. Initial inspiration being the legend of the “Wicker Man.”
The photo is of a 3 feet high scale model of the structure. Proportions are based on a 6 foot tall man. The model is shown without its outer woven copper piping, is to be completed.