Skylon Tower

This is a variant of the Skylon floating sculpture. While the description below used light staves, it can easily be built using garden canes. The tower has three sides: this gives it greater stability.


  • 12 x staves 1.8m long
  • 3 x staves 1m long
  • 3 x staves 0.6m long
  • Sisal
  • 3 x post supports


Using a tripod lashing at the top of each, make two tripods using six of the 2m staves.

Open one tripod out so that the legs are about 0.5m apart and lash the 0.6m staves across the bottom of the legs, using square lashings. Do not put the short staves too close to the ends of the tripod.

Lash the second tripod to the legs of the first using square lashings. The result should be a very stable triangular framework.

To make the base of the tower, place the three post supports in an equilateral triangle with sides approx 1.5m apart and stand the 1m staves in them. If you are building this on soft ground you could hammer the 1m staves vertically into the ground. Using square lashings and the remaining long staves, fix two horizontal rails between each post. Note: it is easier to keep the shape of the base if the rails are attached one at a time, rather than making two large triangles and lashing them to the uprights.

The support for the tower is made by tying three lengths of sisal together and fixing the free ends to the tops of the ground posts using round turns and two half hitches. Ensure that the sisal is taut and that the centre know does not touch the ground.

Tie three other guys to the middle of the tower section. Sit the tower vertically over the centre knot of the sisal and tie the guys off to the ground posts.

Post supports: If you are building the Skylon in your meeting place, you will need a method of holding the ground posts vertical. We use the following method.

Place a short length of plastic pipe, the type used for sinks is ideal, in the centre of a large bucket or cut down plastic drum. Check it is about the right size for your staves.

Pack round the outside of the pipe with builders sand or ballast. Alternatively, you can make permanent supports by using concrete instead of lose ballast: let the concrete set for a week before use.

Use tent pegs to wedge the staves in a vertical position.

To download the complete plan and design document please Click Here

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