Old Spitalfields Market
Case Study

Old Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market





Traders have earned their crusts at East London’s Old Spitalfields Market for over 350 years – it opened back when James II was King of Scotland, England and Ireland and Samuel Pepys wrote the last entry in his iconic diary.

It’s now home to range of independent stalls offering everything from food to fashion and art and boasts a bustling environment that’s truly unique.

But the history of Spitalfields is also intimately interwoven with silk and this is the crux of an inspirational installation concept Ormiston is proud to have contributed our technical expertise to – a flight of fancy involving 40 illuminated silk moths.

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The project

Spitalfields worked closely with designers Studio 29 on the ambitious concept – an electrified eclipse of chameleonic moths installed above the Trade Market area at Crispin Place, which change colour throughout the day to represent metamorphosis and are suspended at different heights to mimic movement.

The artistic aesthetics are impeccable, but since the moths flutter above a busy public space, our paramount priority was health and safety – so we combined our years of technical expertise and comprehensive product catalogue to formulate a fantastic solution.

The Ormiston solution

The first challenge which we encountered was the fact that there are no direct vertical anchor points on the ceiling of the building. So to enable these masterpieces to hang safely and securely from above, we suggested that Spitalfields used our high-quality catenary wire to create a heavy-duty wire rope that’s secured and suspended between two firm fixing points. C-clips allowed the suspended moths to be placed anywhere along the span, and they were also connected firmly with Gripple XP1 fixings.

The outcome

The art installation was completed successfully, with each magnificent moth now swaying sublimely high above the above the stalls, animated by their designer’s imagination and our technical savvy.

Shoppers and stallholders can marvel at their beauty amidst the buzz, bantering and bargaining which has characterised Spitalfields’ commercial and social space for countless generations.

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