At 20m tall, and with a total wingspan of 54m, the Angel of the North is one of the largest single sculptures anywhere. It has two skins; a structural inner core with thinner outer profiled plating that is largely cosmetic bar coping with torsional and shear stresses.
The 11 sectioned cylindrical core is formed of maximum 30mm steel plate strengthened and subdivided by five horizontal diaphragms passing through the body. Welded around the core are 20 vertical full height ribs, each 50mm thick. Between main ribs, a network of short horizontal secondary and now concealed ribs acts as an exact template onto which the outer 6mm thick sheet steel skin is fixed. Many of the 280 skin sections are curved in two directions, adopting long established local skills needed for shaping ships' hulls.
Vertical ribs are sized so that they protrude 250mm from the skin to create the characteristic exo-skeleton. This is mirrored in each 26m long hollow wing using a structural framework of exposed steel beams with the skin welded to its inner edge. The 208t structure will be bolted to a buried concrete plinth piled 20m deep.