- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 31 Oct 2017
The Headington Shark
Officially called Untitled 1986, the shark sculpture is embedded head-first, giving the impression of having fallen out of the sky.
It was installed by crane on the roof of 2 New High Street on 9th August 1986 by Bill Heine who said that his motive was “…to express someone feeling totally impotent and ripping a hole in their roof out of a sense of impotence and anger and desperation … it is saying something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki.”
Although the police were informed that the installation was taking place, they were unable to take action as there is no criminal law preventing a homeowner installing a sculpture on their own roof. However, it was the immediate focus of controversy, with local residents complaining and Oxford City Council trying to remove it on safety grounds. When this proved unsuccessful they attempted enforecment action because of a lack of planning permission.
As time went on though, it became a minor attraction for Oxford and support from local residents’ began to grow. After six years of legal proceedings, central government became involved, with ministers in the Department of the Environment deciding in 1992 that the shark could remain as it did not cause ‘harm to the visual amenity’.
In August 2007, the shark was renovated by Buckley, and in 2016, Heine’s son bought the house to ensure its preservation.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.
New step-by-step route maps for implementing effective surface water management measures are published.
GMP is an agreement with a contractor that the contract sum will not exceed a specified maximum. Read more here.
The BREEAM Sustainability Champion is changing to the Advisory Professional - here's what you need to know.
A fresh round of job-cuts takes the total number of redundancies to over 1,000.