Nottingham’s Aspire Towers Over Statue of Liberty

Named Aspire, Nottingham is now home to Britain’s tallest free-standing public work of art. Finally erected earlier this week, the giant ice-cream cone stands at an incredible 60m, making it even taller than the Statue of Liberty.

The 60m free-standing structure - Aspire in Nottingham

Designed by Ken Shuttleworth of MAKE, architect of the Millennium Bridge and 30 St Mary Axe in London, the red steel sculpture stands at Nottingham University at the Jubilee campus. I say red, it’s actually four very specific shades of red, namely Purple Red, Ruby Red, Carmine Red and Traffic Red.

Shuttleworth spoke of the naming:

We’re particularly pleased that students and staff have been responsible for actually naming the sculpture. These are the people who will experience the sculpture as part of their daily environment. We hope they will feel a real sense of ownership and pride in this striking new addition to the campus. We certainly think that their chosen name really captures the essence of what we are trying to achieve with the work.

My immediate thoughts were if Aspire had been deliberately named after the Aspire Tower sports centre in Dubai which happens to look eerily similar. However, it seems to be just a coincidence.

The height of of Aspire represents 60 years of the University’s opening and the name was selected by students and staff. It cost around £800,000 and the money was an anonymous gift donation. The height is made up from 52m of steel and 8m of concrete. Aspire has its own website which you can view here: http://aspire.nottingham.ac.uk/

In similar new, Shard at London Bridge is set to join Aspire as another symbolic skyline feature of Britain. Except this one’s going to be an actual building. With a height of 310m, the tower will be one of the tallest buildings in Europe.

I like it when a skyline has some definition to it. It’s not so much that places without a unique structure have no feeling to them, just that sometimes is does take a building or structure that really stands out to have an impact on you.

78 Year Old British Skier Breaks the Record Books

This is a pretty amazing story. Norma Rowlerson took up skiing pretty late, when I say pretty late, I mean at the age of 51. And it may have taken her a while, but in the last 27 years she’s become the first ever female and first ever Brit to ski in all seven continents. Let’s face it, that puts all of us to shame.

Hailing from Crowborough in East Sussex, Rowlerson’s first experience of skiing was in Austria on a family ski holiday at the age of 51. As an aspiring travel writer, she wrote a piece which was later picked up by The Telegraph and kick-started her journalistic career.

Travelling to unusual skiing spots and writing about her experiences there became a great trait for success. Rowlerson skiing repertoire includes Sicily’s Mount Etna, Mauna Kea in Hawaii (!) and Chacaltaya, Bolivia.

Finally managing to ski in all seven continents (and yes that included Antarctica and Australasia), she called the Guinness Book of Records to see if her feat had already been achieved. Amazingly she discovered not only to be the first female to break this record but also to be the first Brit.

Norma Rowlerson now has a book available, entitled ‘Downhill To The Top’ it charts all of her adventures around the world. It’s after hearing about stuff like this that makes you think, hey it’s never too late to do anything.

Her homepage can be found here: http://www.normaskier.com/