You can read all about our design here.
The organisers called for a structure that would pay tribute to RJ Mitchell, the aviation genius who designed the Spitfire. It’s not often that you get to design something honouring another designer, and that’s what the project became for us.
We also discovered that Southampton and the Spitfire were intricately linked: in 1940, the Supermarine Factory where the Spitfire was built was bombed, and production of the Spitfire was distributed to 28 small factories and workshops – some little more than garages.
All this makes the Spitfire an impressive feat of design and engineering ingenuity. At the base of our design is a viewing platform, shaped like an RAF roundel, which has a map of Southampton showing where all these micro factories were. The roundel also has the insignias of the 31 other forces that flew the Spitfire. On the base of the mast itself is a tribute to RJ Mitchell, his design team, and the test pilots who had one the most dangerous jobs of all.
We’ve been lucky enough to work with some pretty ingenious people ourselves on this project: Fergus McCormick of Buro Happold defined and developed the structural solution and Bruce Patterson of Quantem has meticulously worked through both the program and costs. We would also like to thank Jacek Grabowski for the wonderful render.