Design Awards: 2018

Brooklands Museum Aircraft Factory and Racetrack Revival

© David Lankester

Architect
Thomas Ford & Partners

Structural Engineer
Alan Baxter Ltd

Steelwork Contractor
Ainscough Industrial

Main Contractor
Brymor Construction Ltd

Client
Brooklands Museum

Brooklands is the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation, and the home of many remarkable engineering and technological achievements throughout the 20th Century. Over the past three years, Brooklands has seen another unique engineering achievement – the successful relocation and refurbishment of the 78-year- old, Grade II listed, Bellman Hangar to reinstate key surviving elements of the original motor racetrack.

The project also included the construction of a new Flight Shed building to house some of the Museum’s expanding aircraft collection, together with workshops and archive facilities. The hangar was re-clad with new profiled steel cladding that matched the original profile externally, but incorporated insulation to provide enhanced environmental conditions inside. As part of the project, a major new exhibition celebrating the history of aircraft manufacture was created within it.

Analysis of the structure showed that there was a weakness in the haunch connection, which could be overstressed in high winds particularly when the hangar doors were open, creating a dominant opening. Low key strengthening works to the haunches were developed, which did not fundamentally affect the nature or appearance of the structure. The repairs are expressed through the use of different section profiles and colours to distinguish new from original elements.

Careful dismantling was undertaken to avoid damaging the existing components of the building. The components were then individually tagged to define their location and orientation to make sure that all the components would fit back together again in the same locations. Once transported to the steelwork contractor’s factory, each element was sand blasted to remove the many layers of old paint and reveal the extent of any damage or corrosion. Where major damage or corrosion was found, elements were repaired to match the original structure. The steelwork was then re-painted and carefully transported back to site for re-erection.

In addition to the re-erection of the hangar, a free-standing mezzanine was designed within the hangar to increase the exhibition space. This mezzanine also included a bridge across to the adjacent Flight Shed, linking the two buildings without the need for extensive alterations to the Bellman Hangar.

The project was successfully completed and opened in November 2017. It is a resounding testament to the flexibility and durability of steel design, both in its original concept and in how it can be sustainably and sympathetically adapted and re-used many years after its original design life has been exceeded.

Judges’ Comment

This project is a testament to the adaptability of steel construction and the care with which the project team managed the task of dismantling the old hangar, refurbishing individual components and re-assembling the structure on a nearby site, providing the ideal accommodation for the museum display.

Approach Viaduct South, Queensferry Crossing

© Transport Scotland

Structural Engineer
Ramboll

Steelwork Contractor
Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd

Main Contractor
Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors

Client
Transport Scotland

Opened in August 2017, Transport Scotland’s Queensferry Crossing is one of the most striking engineering icons of the 21st Century.

On the south side of the crossing the approach viaduct (AVS) is 545m long and comprises two composite steel box girders, set 21.75m apart, supported on six V-shaped piers with spans of 64m + 80m + 90m + (3 x 87m). These are directly connected to the main span cable-stayed single box section of the Crossing.

Each approach viaduct is 17.5m wide, accommodating two main carriageways and a hard shoulder. Consideration has been given to future usage, allowing it to be adapted to light rapid transport systems in the future.

The AVS was pre-assembled before being progressively launched into place. Assembly took place in an efficient and controlled environment, keeping work out on the estuary to a minimum. However, this created significant engineering challenges.

The steel twin box girders of the viaduct were fabricated and pre-assembled by Cleveland Bridge in Darlington. The completed girders were transported by road in halves due to the width of the boxes.

Behind the southern approach a 160m long assembly platform work area was prepared. The east and west girders were launched independently and alternately in six stages, proceeding span-by-span. This facilitated a rolling programme of fabrication, segment delivery, site assembly and a staged launch with east and west girders alternating.

The active viaduct launch solution comprised a vertical ‘king post’ and temporary stays. The temporary stay system counteracted girder deflection as the tip reached the next pier, also reducing bending effects during cantilevering. The pulling system consisted of cables anchored to the rear part of the girders. Hydraulic jacks transferred the pulling load to the permanent abutment bearing plinths. The decks were pulled at an average speed of 10m/hr.

Construction of the concrete deck slab and cantilevers was undertaken in phases.

The bridge has low level deck lighting which reduces costs, improves safety and minimises external light pollution. The wind shield provides weather protection for all vehicles for wind speeds up to 115mph, minimising crossing closures.

Maintenance requirements have been kept low. The viaduct box has a dehumidification system, removing any need to repaint the internal steelwork. Externally, a permanent maintenance gantry system has been installed to facilitate access to all faces of the boxes. The use of high-quality paint systems will ensure longevity and will extend the life of maintenance repainting to over 25 years.

Judges’ Comment

In a landscape comprising the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge, the new Queensferry Crossing, Britain’s tallest bridge, cannot fail to impress. This scheme for the southern approach viaduct embodies the knowledge in design, fabrication and long-term maintenance, in the launching and finishing the twin box viaducts, from some of the world’s most accomplished bridge builders.

The Beacon of Light, Sunderland

Architect
FaulknerBrowns

Structural Engineer
s h e d

Steelwork Contractor
Harry Marsh (Engineers) Ltd

Main Contractor
Tolent Construction

Client
The Foundation of Light

The Beacon of Light is a unique landmark in Sunderland providing educational aspiration through the power of sport. It is a combination of a school, offices, a 12-court sports hall that doubles as a 3,000-seat performance venue and an indoor football pitch on the roof. In total over 10,500m2 of accommodation is provided, built to a very high quality, for only £17M. Architecturally it is a significant feature on the Sunderland skyline and a beacon for the Foundation of Light.

Early in the design concept it was decided that a steel frame would provide a flexible solution that would allow the design to develop right up to the start on site. Without the steel frame the project would not have been affordable, nor would it have been as dramatic and elegant, from the sports and leisure venue right through to the indoor rooftop football pitch under a 60m by 60m clear span fabric roof.

The use of a steel frame was fundamental to:

• keep the amount of piling to a minimum thus reducing environmental impact.
• allow the M&E flexibility by creating clear soffits in the main service run directions keeping coordination simple and fabrication modifications, such as holes in beams, to a minimum.
• create a 60m by 32m clear span sports hall that can be converted into a 3,000-4,000 seat performance venue that has a football pitch over it. It has five different possible uses planned and is designed to be so flexible that the adjacent main accommodation at the upper levels is supported by super trusses to accommodate extra viewing and seating zones with uninterrupted views.
• design a very lightweight and very shallow two-way spanning fabric roof structure and a feature ‘Beacon’ polycarbonate façade that can come alive at night with lighting.
• create a building that fits the superb architecture, within the tight budget, to a very high aesthetic standard.

The project provides a superb community facility for the people of Sunderland. Its amazing column-free spaces and structural forms inside will themselves be an inspiration to those who use the building throughout its lifespan, in particular the two-way spanning 60m by 60m roof which has a design weight of 44kg/m2. It is particularly shallow and required a detailed erection sequence and temporary works to make it possible. The whole roof and polycarbonate frame is in an unheated space and is thermally isolated from the main warm frame underneath.

Judges’ Comment

A new landmark in regenerating Sunderland, this glowing cube of a building, a home for the Foundation of Light, is a community-supported combination of school, sports halls and 3,000-seater performance venue. It even includes a covered football pitch on the roof. The steel frame economically resolves structural challenges from foundations to its 60m by 60m clear span fabric roof.

Somers Town Bridge, London

© John Sturrock

Architect
Moxon Architects

Structural Engineer
Ove Arup & Partners Ltd

Steelwork Contractor
S H Structures Ltd

Client
King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership

Designed for cyclists and pedestrians to cross from Camley Street into King’s Cross Central, a landmark redevelopment project, the bridge spans 38m, weighs 52 tonnes and is only 1,100mm deep at mid- span and 400mm deep at the ends. In keeping with the Victorian heritage of the area, the bridge is unadorned and streamlined, focusing attention on extremely detailed and precise craftsmanship and high-quality materials.

A sweeping ramp leads people up to the bridge and over the water with an elegant parapet transitioning from planed hardwood to stainless steel.

By locating the structural depth above deck level, the design maintains a clear view of the canal south from St Pancras Lock.

One of the planning design drivers was that this should be a ‘green bridge’, taking minimum material use to the extreme that it becomes the defining feature of architectural simplicity. With the use of steel, and its high recycled material content, this has resulted in a low carbon solution.

Power and communications cables run concealed behind the top flanges of the bridge. Whole-life energy-efficient LED strip luminaires light up the footway within the handrails. This arrangement reduces the amount of light required to illuminate the footpath, as well as minimising light pollution.

The use of steel construction facilitated both offsite fabrication and single piece lifting that were required to avoid disruptive construction methods on this heavily trafficked section of canal. This also enabled the offsite and on-site construction activities to run in parallel with associated programme benefits. A lightweight deck also minimised foundation works.

The bridge was optimised to meet the architect’s aspiration for a slender structure that would minimise the shade on the canal. Non-linear analysis of the slender deck ensured that the slenderness would not compromise safety and would provide maximum comfort for users of the bridge. Particular care was placed on satisfying the user comfort criteria, which led to the use of bespoke tuned mass dampers at mid-span to suppress vertical and torsional dynamic modes of the deck.

Every single element of the bridge had a structural meaning and function. For instance, it was designed so no longitudinal stiffeners would be needed, simplifying the structure as well as reducing fabrication complexity and cost.

The bridge was installed using a 750-tonne mobile crane. The lift had to be carefully controlled due to the proximity of the canal and the operational railway lines in and out of St Pancras Station.

Judges’ Comment

A sweeping ramp leads up to this almost impossibly slender steel bridge. Designed for pedestrians and cyclists, the bridge improves access into King’s Cross Central, a landmark redevelopment project. The simplicity of its unadorned and streamlined form focuses attention onto the bridge’s high-quality materials and precise craftsmanship.

Thirty Broadwick, London

© Andy Stagg Photography

Architect
Emrys Architects

Structural Engineer
Heyne Tillett Steel

Steelwork Contractor
Severfield

Main Contractor
BAM Construction

Client
Great Portland Estates plc

Thirty Broadwick is a new 120,000ft2 building that offers optimised lettable floor areas within Soho’s tight streetscape and replaces a tired building with one that reflects the district’s character. It now offers exemplar West End office space, with large flexible floorplates, that meets the client’s exacting sustainability standards. The upper floors step back creating large outdoor terraces which provide valuable outdoor amenity space.

The wellness of occupants was a primary design objective, reflected in generous and well-appointed spaces, incorporating a natural ventilation strategy that has helped to make Thirty Broadwick an exemplar sustainable building with an EPC ‘A’ and BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

Judges’ Comment

A deceptively simple project where structural steel is showcased as the ‘go to’ system for maximising the development potential on such heavily constrained sites. Long-span, column-free interiors and additional floor area are achieved within planning height constraints determined by a previous consent through innovative deflection control during construction and the inventive integration of structure and services.

Victoria Palace Theatre Refurbishment, London

© Philip Vile

Architect
Aedas Arts Team

Structural Engineer
Conisbee

Steelwork Contractor
SDM Fabrication Ltd

Main Contractor
8Build Ltd

Client
Delfont Mackintosh

The Grade II listed Victoria Palace Theatre has been remodelled and refurbished to ensure that it remains a prominent part of London’s West End theatre scene for years to come.

The main objectives were to maximise the potential of the stage and fly tower, extend the back-of-house facilities, improve the comfort of the auditorium to seat 1,528 and maximise the amount of front-of-house areas, whilst maintaining the building’s historic features.

The structural works included installing a 6m wide by 26m high extension to the fly tower, extending the east wing, and strengthening works throughout the existing building.

Judges’ Comment

The remodelling of the theatre has been extremely challenging, ensuring that it will remain a prominent venue for years to come. The whole team has worked in a truly collaborative manner, that was essential due to the evolving design. Steelwork was key to dealing with the many logistical construction challenges due to limited space and access.

Seventy Wilson, London

Architect
astudio

Structural Engineer
Heyne Tillett Steel

Steelwork Contractor
TSI Structures Ltd

Main Contractor
Willmott Dixon

Client
Stanhope

A 1980s office building has been fully refurbished and now benefits from a 25% increase in floor area. The space has been rationalised and two new storeys have been added, all with an efficient structural design dramatically reducing the carbon footprint.

The works involved extending the height of the building from five to seven storeys, building a four-storey addition to one elevation and remodelling the circulation cores to provide more office space and an additional lift.

The exposed steel frame in this modern ‘raw’ building is painted bright red to emphasize and celebrate the structure.

Judges’ Comment

The team cleverly added 25% floor area to this 1980s office without needing to strengthen the existing steel structure. The original steelwork, previously encased in concrete, was exposed to make it a statement of the building. This two-storey extension is a fine example of how testing and good engineering can give a steel building new life.

Walthamstow Wetlands

© Heini Schneebeli

Architects
Witherford Watson Mann and Kinnear Landscape Architects

Structural Engineer
Entuitive

Steelwork Contractor
Gorge Fabrications Ltd

Main Contractor
Rooff Ltd

Client
London Borough of Waltham Forest

Walthamstow Wetlands is Europe’s largest urban wetlands and expects to host 250,000 visitors in its first year. As part of the project to provide the facilities necessary for opening the site to free public access, two disused infrastructure buildings, the locally listed Engine House and the Grade II listed Coppermill Tower, have been adapted for visitor use, providing an exhibition space, an education room, café, toilets and a viewing platform.

The structural works included a boardwalk entrance, new first floor and spiral escape stair in the Engine House, and a new viewing platform and staircase in the Coppermill Tower.

Judges’ Comment

The team has successfully given a nod to the former industrial heritage of the building through the use of steel in many manifestations to highlight wayfinding and new interventions throughout this sensitive conversion. The balustrading, made from simple welded plate elements, proves an effective unifying element to the balconies and external spaces.

1 & 2 London Wall Place

Architect
make

Structural Engineer
WSP UK Ltd

Steelwork Contractor
William Hare

Main Contractor
Multiplex Construction Europe

Client
London Wall Place Limited Partnership

London Wall Place is one of the most important recent developments in the City of London comprising two strikingly contemporary landmark commercial buildings providing 500,000m2 of Grade A office space.

Steel lies at the heart of the development, over 7,000 tonnes of it. Its use throughout is both impressive and dramatic; both buildings feature extensive cantilevered steelwork and deep transfer structures at Level 2 which allow them to extend well beyond the boundary of the two-storey common basement.

The two buildings rise to 12 storeys and 16 storeys with their steel superstructures laterally stabilised by concrete cores.

Judges’ Comment

The large scheme, comprising two new office buildings combined with carefully integrated public realm, provides a new setting along 250m of London Wall. The use of steel has been instrumental in enabling the two buildings to cantilever out over the existing road. A 5m deep mega truss at Level 2, with enormous steel members passing through it, offers the opportunity for a highly unusual
new dining space.

Manchester Victoria Redevelopment

© Martine Hamilton Knight

Architect
BDP

Structural Engineer
Arcadis Consulting (UK) Ltd

Steelwork Contractor
Severfield

Main Contractor
Morgan Sindall – Manchester (Construction)

Client
Network Rail

Manchester’s Victoria Station has been transformed to increase passenger capacity. The redevelopment was a challenging project within an existing live railway station around several Grade II listed features, with possessions limited from 1.00am to 4.30am daily. As well as the ETFE roof over the refurbished concourse, the project also included a 60m Arena walkway over the live train platforms.

The 1,800t, 8,500m2 ETFE roof is supported by 15 steel ribs, the largest spanning 95m. The lifts for this project were challenging; the largest rib weighed 84 tonnes and required a crane with a 74m radius.

Judges’ Comment

The tubular steel ribs forming the new roof create an effective transition between the curving railway tracks and the adjacent buildings. Despite severe constraints the steelwork was erected on schedule with the station remaining operational throughout. The result is a completely transformed space, with the exposed steelwork a dominant feature.