Messenger – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Clarkebond are proud to have helped the Theatre Royal, Plymouth install their new statue by designing the new foundations for the structure.

The cast bronze statue that was created by the Cornish artist Joseph Hillier depicts a female actor crouching in preparation to run onstage.  At some 7 metres tall and weighting nearly 10 tonnes it is the largest bronze sculpture ever created in the UK using the lost wax casting process.  The statue was cast in parts over 18 months in Wales before being assembled in Plymouth and then delivered to the Theatre Royal “full size” via a barge and articulated low loader.

The design and detailing of the foundations was not a simple task – mainly due to the large number of below ground services that are present in beneath the pavement including gas, telephone drainage and high voltage electricity distribution network cables.  Clarkebond worked with the design team to identify ways to position the statue so that its foundations were able to fit within the constraints of the existing services and their easement zones.

The final piled foundations provide support to the two feet of the statue, whilst the centre hand that just touches the ground is in fact unsupported as it is positioned directly over the electrical cables beneath.