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A Wing And A Prayer, Suffolk

Client: Arabella Marshall

Glazing Contractor: Estury Glass & Glazing

When well-known artist Arabella Marshall was out walking on RSPB Minsmere, situated on the Suffolk coastline near Saxmundum, she came across the striking and atmospheric medieval ruins of Minsmere Chapel, which stands on the original site of Leiston Abbey. Immediately inspired, she decided to use it as the setting for her latest work of art, a glass installation titled ‘A Wing And A Prayer’. Perega provided expert consultancy and glass engineering services to bring this ambitious project to life.

The sculpture, designed to be fixed directly to the Chapel’s crumbling window frames, would playfully reference the stained glass fenestration present in the building during its heyday. Specified using pieces of typically non-structural fused bullseye glass set in a steel frame, the installation required careful, well-researched design and specification to realise the brief.

Working closely with the artist, our team developed specifications for using fused bullseye glass to achieve the project’s objectives. They also provided a design and specification based on the use of modern, toughened laminated glass, as an alternative back-up if required. This was further complemented with guidance to inform the level of detail needed when building the sculpture’s steel framework. This consisted of typical fixing details to Chapel’s structure, including what the fixing reactions and loads would be.

‘A Wing And A Prayer’ is the latest asset, to enhance this area of outstanding of natural beauty, that’s already teeming with biodiversity. A markedly different project from the usual work undertaken by Perega’s glass and façade engineering team, it served as the perfect showcase for our team’s ability to develop creative solutions to any glass engineering challenge.

Photos: ©Tim Curtis