Design Awards: 2004: Commendation

Intech Science and Technology Centre, Winchester

Intech Science and Technology Centre, Winchester

Architect

Hampshire CC Architecture and Design Services

Structural Engineer

Gifford

Steelwork Contractor

Tubecon

Main Contractor

Trant

Client

Hampshire Technology Centre Trust Ltd

Intech is a new 3,500sq m educational interactive science centre commissioned by the Hampshire Technology Trust Ltd. Hampshire Technology Trust Ltd is a local charity set up because of concerns about the quality of scientific training in schools and the lack of interest that school children had in science and technology. An exhibition centre was created with the vision to set up a hands-on science experience to help local schools in their teaching of science and technology in an inspirational way. The success of the centre meant that expansion was needed if the quality of the service that Intech provided was to improve.

The client’s brief for the new Intech building was to provide a large exhibition hall and café with associated administrative and teaching spaces and a 200 seat lecture theatre that had the potential for future conversion into a planetarium within a limited budget of £5M. To complement the scientific use of the building the architect’s design was based on simple geometric forms cut into the chalk hillside. The lecture theatre was designed as a domed building linked to the main pyramidal exhibition hall via a two-storey glazed link corridor.

The client wanted a building that would not only achieve the spatial requirements but would also allow visitors to understand the form and function of the building. Thus the vision was for the building to have the potential to be used as a learning tool, hence the building form needed to be simple to understand in both terms of structural form and building services strategy.

The architect’s initial concept for the exhibition hall roof was to have four plates leaning together supported on concrete buttresses to form the pyramid shape. The space needed to be column free so the roof had to be capable of spanning the 50m width of the building. To achieve the concept of a plate it was proposed that a form of grillage structure was used.

To minimize the member sizes, and hence the tonnage, a series of bowstring supports was introduced. A hierarchy of supports was introduced, the first larger tie bars were provided to prop the main roof plates, with the secondary series of tie bars being introduced to support the smaller panels between the main props. The tie bars need to be post-tensioned to resist wind uplift.

The roof is designed to be two-way spanning thus moment connections were required at all joints. It was decided to fabricate the roof panels in longitudinal ladder frames and to minimize site welding the joints were designed to be contained within the profile of the SHS members.

The auditorium structure was designed with UB curved ribs expressed below CHS purlins curved to form full circles, each circle being of a different radius. The UB ribs are built off a reinforced concrete retaining wall that supports the earth banking which is mounded around the base of the auditorium. There are simple bolted connections between the CHS purlins and the UB rafters that are hidden above the top flange of the ribs.

Judges’ Comment

s:

Intended to house exhibits to inspire children towards science, engineering and technology, the structure itself intentionally demonstrates structural form and strategy. Its striking pyramidical form triggers the inquisitiveness and appreciation of both children and adults, even if not wholly understanding the full extent of engineering achievement involved.

West Stand, Kingston Communications Stadium, Hull

West Stand, Kingston Communications Stadium, Hull

Architects

The Miller Partnership

Structural Engineer

Anthony Hunt Associates Ltd

Steelwork Contractor

Watson Steel Structures Ltd

Main Contractor

Birse Stadia Ltd

Client

Kinston-upon-Hull City Council

The Kingston Communications Stadium is unique in a number of ways. Firstly, it is thought to be the only stadium to be constructed in an ‘asymmetric bowl’ form. This gives the flexibility of combining single and double tier stands, whilst an effortless transition between the single and double tier stands maintains the impression of one continuous building structure.

This continuity is enhanced by the adoption of an internal public concourse that runs the full perimeter of the stadium. Unusually, this concourse is at first floor level, thereby freeing up commercially valuable space at ground floor level.

Further, it is the first stadium to be built entirely within an existing public park. However, rather than destroying the park environment the stadium ‘respects’ the park, and will in fact introduce new visitors to it.

The West Stand roof is arguably the most interesting aspect of the stadium. Due to the significant overhang of the West Stand roof and the presence of the upper tier, the cantilever solution used for the other stands was not appropriate here. Consequently, a stayed rafter solution was adopted, using relatively slender 406mm diameter CHS stays to support box section rafters which are fabricated out of steel plate, and range from 1350mm deep at their supports, down to 600mm at the tip.

The CHS stays are up to 40m long, and rise gently in pairs up to the rear of the roof, where they meet six CHS section ‘A-frames’ which transfer the significant vertical and overturning forces down the stand, via terracing raker beams and diagonal bracing hidden within partition walls between hospitality boxes. To overcome potential problems associated with self-weight deflection and bending moments, the CHS stays were cranked at third points so that the deflected form approximated to a straight line.

The main sections of the roof, the ‘A-frames’, were assembled and welded at the rear of the West Stand and lifted into place as complete frames using crawler cranes sat on the outside of the structure. This resulted in lifts of up to 110 tonnes. In order to minimise out of balance forces, the ‘A-frames’ were erected in a symmetric manner from the centre outwards. Hence, the two central ‘A-frames’ were erected first, and then joined together by erecting RHS infill purlins between them. This process was subsequently repeated for the two central and the two outer ‘A-frames’, after which the roof decking could be laid. The west side of the pitch is lit from a dedicated lighting gantry slung off the underside of the West Stand roof.

The total build cost of £27.5M equates to £1,100 per seat, which is not significantly higher than for a more conventional stadium.

The first ‘sod’ was dug in October 2001, whilst the first match was played only 14 months later in December 2002. Further, the production of construction information commenced just two months before the start on site date.

Judges’ Comment

s:

An asymmetric bowl form, possibly unique at this time, creates a spectacular roof for this 25,000 seat community stadium set in beautiful parkland. In meeting the brief this enables a combination of a single and double tier stand to be accommodated under one continuous building structure. A simple solution has been produced that is elegant in its design, rational in its engineering technology and economic in its means of implementation.
The development gives the community a facility that is great value for money – Hull can be proud of this multi-purpose stadium.

Festival Place, Basingstoke

Festival Place, Basingstoke

Architect

Lyons + Sleeman + Hoare

Structural Engineer

whitbybird

Steelwork Contractor

Severfield-Reeve Structures Ltd

Main Contractor

Laing O’Rourke

Client

Grosvenor

The Festival Place Shopping Centre provides over 93,000 m2 of retail and leisure space and 3,000 car parking spaces. The development comprises a complex assembly of new build and refurbishment.

The shopping centre is split into a series of independent structures with malls, in between, forming a route through the complex. The glazed roof of the malls are elegantly designed and detailed using a combination of hollow section trusses and columns with plated steel struts. These are designed as independent structures adhering to the movement joint philosophy between the buildings. In the main mall tree style hollow section columns support bowstring trusses and frame the glazing. The bowstring trusses incorporate yacht technology in the design of the rod; a tension member pivoted about a single point and evenly stressed throughout its entire length. This provides an almost transparent element spanning the 10m mall.

Vertical bowstring trusses are also used at the glazed south entrance to the shopping centre, these are approximately 15m high and are supported by the portals at first floor level and the roof structure above. Each individual bowstring truss varies in height suiting the curved profile of the entrance.

Porchester Square – the interface between the old shopping centre and the new complex – is a 36m x 25m glazed space framed by a truss structure standing 12m above ground level. Two 25m high masts and a series of high strength tension rods support the frame, which is then laterally restrained. The support condition was governed by the aspirations for a column free space and the retention of existing swimming pool complex beneath the square’s ground floor slab.

The Wote Street entrance is a circular steel glass block clad tower. The 20m high tower was designed as a fully rigid/moment framed structure. The tower is supported by two stiff UCs double cantilevering over the existing RC perimeter retaining wall below. A prop at a high level within the existing roof stabilises the structure.

The Leisure and Cineplex structure is a series of ‘boxes within boxes’. Each individual auditorium is designed to prevent structure-borne vibrations being transmitted to adjacent structures. The Cineplex roof is supported by a grid arrangement of deep trusses, which spans up to 22m in length creating large column free zones necessary for the Cineplex.

Each building of Festival Place incorporates its own service/loading bay, requiring large areas of column free zones. This was achieved by using 2m deep pre-cambered steel fabricated beam sections, which transfer the column loads from the car park and shopping mall areas above.

To link the east side of the centre to Churchill Plaza a lightweight bridge was required. The bridge is a space frame in section and as a truss in elevation providing an acceptable aesthetic solution to an exposed structure, whilst keeping the overall weight to a minimum.

Judges’ Comment

s:

This enormous shopping mall, which has transformed Basingstoke as a retail centre, has relied heavily on the use of steel to meet successfully the demands of budget, schedule and fitness for purpose. The elegantly light bowstring roofing structure is particularly noteworthy.

Whittle Arch and Glass Bridge, Coventry

Whittle Arch and Glass Bridge, Coventry

Architect

MacCormac Jamieson Prichard

Structural Engineer

whitbybird

Steelwork Contractor (Glass Bridge)

Rowecord Engineering Ltd

Steelwork Contractor (Whittle Arch)

Westbury Structures Ltd

Main Contractor

Butterley Construction

Client

Coventry City Council

The Phoenix Initiative is Coventry City Council’s most extensive city centre regeneration project to date. The £20M scheme, jointly funded by the Millennium Commission and Coventry City Council, has created an attractive journey from the Cathedral Quarter down the Museum of British Road Transport, tracing the city’s thousand year history along the way.

The City Council, with its architects, has drawn up designs for the city that have created new spaces that are both imaginative and functional. Priory Place, set to give Coventry something to rival Birmingham’s Brindley Place with café bars and new city centre housing, and Millennium Place, a fantastic new open plaza capable of hosting all kinds of outdoor entertainment, are the two civic spaces.

The Millennium Place incorporates two structural steelwork features, designed by architects MacCormac Jamieson Prichard with engineers whitbybird that are unique. The Place is overlooked by the twin arch structure of the Whittle Arch, and the spectacular glass bridge that spirals out of Millennium Place and provides an impressive new view of the city.

Whittle Arch

The twin arches each span 60m. They lean toward each other, and mutually support each other through a single connection point at the crown. The clear height to the crown is approximately 15m. The arches are fabricated from standard CHS’s spanning between the regular plate diaphragms. One family of tubes travel directly between the diaphragms to carry the axial thrusts and bending moments, another forms a series of spirals between the diaphragms and these carry the shear forces and torsions that exist under the different loadcases. The structure is clad with stainless steel sheet, perforated so that the sinuous organic nature of the structure remains visible. The diaphragms are in fact annular, again to enhance light flow through the structure and to enable it to be lit at night.

The arch follows the tradition of Frank Whittle by pushing the use of technology. The arch geometry was initially set up in the 3D computer drafting package X-Steel. It was then directly transferred into the finite element package LUSAS. The deflections were calculated and these were directly transferred back into the X-steel package so the pre-set, or pre-cambered, form of the structure was directly available to the steelwork contractor.

The ‘Glass Bridge and Ramp’

The bridge snakes out of the Millennium Place through a 360 degree spiral ramp and takes pedestrians 3m over a medieval city wall and the restored Lady Herbert Garden before making a gentle landing in the garden of International Friendship.

The bridge and ramp take their name from the glass fins which envelope the parapets but the structure is very much in steel. The main spine of the ramp and bridge is a large diameter tube that was pre-bent to the various radii needed to form the profile of the bridge. The main engineering feature of the structure is the very large unsupported spiral that forms the ramp. This spiral would be very prone to excitation by vandals and as a result within the tube are three tuned mass dampers, sized to deal with the first principal mode of vibration. Again the finite element package LUSAS was used to analyse the structure and its modes of vibration.

Judges’ Comment

s:

This exciting project shows high quality steelwork as sculpture and structure on a civic scale. The arch is formed of a pair of aerofoil section tubular lattices with perforated stainless steel sheathing, which are internally lit to provide a glittering shape in the night sky, while the bridge, with its unsupported spiral lower ramp formed of a tubular spine and coloured glass fins, is a fine example of a complex torsion structure which makes a strong visual statement.