‘Head Above Water’ sculpture raises awareness of mental health issues

5 September 2018

Ramboll has worked closely with British designer Steuart Padwick to realise the construction of the 9m-high CLT head which will be installed on London’s South Bank as part of the London Design Festival.

Head Above Water Sculpture, London South Bank

Head Above Water Sculpture, London South Bank

Dramatically changing London’s iconic skyline, Head Above Water will be erected on Gabriel’s pier on the South Bank, from September 15. Intended as a symbol of hope and compassion for all those who have experienced or are dealing with mental health issues and the people who support them, it is deliberately neutral in gender, ethnicity and age.

At night it will be lit with different colours to reflect the moods of the brain and the public will be able to interact and influence these via Twitter (@hawLDN).

The sculpture has been created to support the mental health campaign Time to Change (run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness) who will use this dynamic platform to engage and stimulate the discussion to eradicate mental health-related stigma and discrimination.

Ramboll recently signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge and was delighted to provide pro-bono expertise – funded by our CSR panel, our Wellbeing network and the CLT team – to help realise Steuart Padwick’s vision. We provided structural timber design, geotechnical and marine engineering services, CFD analysis and digital design services, with the latter enabling the sustainable structure to be designed, amended and evolved within the tight timescales involved.

Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change says: “Located on the bustling South Bank, Head Above Water will be seen by millions, promoting contemplation and encouraging conversations about mental health. Sadly, the topic of mental health problems is often confined to hushed conversations in quiet corners so we’re excited to support this project which proudly brings it into the light.”

Buildings Associate Alan Dowdall, who led our contribution comments: “Ramboll is really excited to be involved in such a thought provoking and visually appealing piece of art. It speaks right to our values and draws on our years of experience in timber engineering, digital design and historic structures.”


Get involved – enter our Head Above Water photography competition!

To celebrate this thought-provoking installation we will be running a photography competition which is open to all. The winner will receive a Polaroid Snap instant digital camera, case and film.

To enter, simply post a photo of the sculpture on Twitter or Instagram, tag in Ramboll (@Ramboll_UK) and use the hashtag #HeadAboveWaterLondon.

The deadline for entries is 23 September 2018. The winner will be contacted and announced via social media. For competition terms and conditions please email us.


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