Paternoster Vents
The sculpture in 2013
ArtistThomas Heatherwick
Year2002 (2002)
MediumStainless steel
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Coordinates51°30′52″N 0°06′02″W / 51.514339°N 0.100462°W / 51.514339; -0.100462

Paternoster Vents, sometimes referred to as simply Vents[1][2][3][4] and also known as Angel's Wings,[5][6] is an outdoor 2002 stainless steel sculpture by Thomas Heatherwick, installed Paternoster Lane on the west side of the Paternoster Square development in London, United Kingdom, close to the junction of Warwick Lane and Ave Maria Lane with Amen Corner.[7] The sculpture provides ventilation for an underground electrical substation.[1][7]

It has been described by The Guardian as "one of Thomas Heatherwick’s earliest and most successful projects".[8] It won Design and Art Directions' "wood pencil" award for design in 2002.[9]

The sculpture was commissioned by Stanhope and Mitsubishi Estate, who jointly developed the Paternoster Square site, to provide ventilation for a subsurface electrical substation with four electricity transformers under Bishop’s Court on the west side of the development. Thomas Heatherwick's design reduces the physical mass of the structure as originally conceived, with metal grilles integrated into the paving allow ingress of cool air, with warm air flowing out through the two tall vents which form wings that mirror each other. Each wing comprises 63 isosceles triangles of stainless steel about 6 mm (0.24 in) thick, assembled into a monocoque helical form that stands about 11 m (36 ft) high. The design was inspired by origami experiments from folding pieces of A4 paper. The outer surface was given a satin finish by shot blasting with glass beads.

See also


  1. ^ a b "About Paternoster: Paternoster Square". Paternoster Square Management Office. Retrieved 24 November 2015.[dead link]
  2. ^ "All aboard: Heatherwick Studio – in pictures". The Guardian. 18 May 2012. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary; Serpentine pavilion – review". The Guardian. 2 June 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Thomas Heatherwick: London's Greatest Modern Designer?". Londonist. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Designer Thomas Heatherwick". Architects' Journal. EMAP Publishing Limited Company. 21 February 2002. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Angel's Wings sculpture, Bishop's Court, Paternoster Square, London". RIBApix. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Projects: Paternoster Vents". Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  8. ^ Where there’s a grille: the hidden portals to London’s underworld, The Guardian, 29 June 2021
  9. ^ Paternoster Vents D&AD Awards 2002 Pencil Winner,