Heathrow Airport Butterfly Structure

We carried out design check calculations on a curved aluminium butterfly structure suspended above the Itsu Sushi restaurant at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport for our client Litestructures. We were also commissioned to determine the appropriate section sizes for all structural members, as well as to design connections for the existing structure.

The stand-alone aluminium frame provides support for a large number of polycarbonate butterfly wings. The wings were attached to the curved aluminium spine with plated saddle connections. The spine beam was connected to the structure’s columns with an inverted saddle/spigot connection that was fixed inside the top of the vertical tube.

The 4ft vertical column members were bolted to the concrete floor through a 13mm thick aluminium plate, providing stability to the structure by allowing all the beam connections to transfer moment to the base of the structure.

The result was an impressive butterfly structure which spanned the full length of the restaurant, providing a safe and unique display for the public.