Progress Update: Work on TPA’s flamingo continues as custom ceiling tiles arrive from Japan
It’s one more step toward some awesome aviary ambience in TPA’s Main Terminal: The long awaited, custom-made ceiling panels, designed to replicate the surface of water surrounding the Airport’s brand-new flamingo, have finally arrived in Tampa. The material was custom ordered from Kikukawa Kogyo, a Tokyo-based metal design company that helped turn the artist’s vision into reality, manufacturing a wavy sheet of mirror-polished stainless steel. The near 6,000 pounds of steel was then shipped across the Pacific Ocean to Cleveland, Ohio where the ceiling tiles were finally “bent” and cut into individual pieces by American Decorative Ceiling, before their delivery to Tampa last week.
Artist Matthew Mazzotta said creating the ceiling tiles was a process of trial and error, with the manufacturer experimenting with three different production techniques before finally getting the look just right. More work on the ceiling must still be completed in the coming weeks to prepare the site for the tile installation. Some additional work may also be done to perfect the flamingo’s lighting.
In this next phase, a ring of tiny metal bumps will also be applied to the ground below the giant bird’s beak and legs, creating the illusion of shadows from ripples in the water above, while also serving as a tactile signal to the visually impaired of the flamingo’s location for ADA compliance. The 21-foot tall sculpture’s final completion is expected later this summer so look for more updates coming soon.