Drake Circus The Barcode, Plymouth


Corstorphine + Wright

Structural Engineer:
Evolve Consulting Engineers

Steelwork Contractor:

Main Contractor:
McLaren Construction Group

British Land

The Drake Circus Leisure Complex, otherwise known as The Barcode due to its striking façade, forms part of the ongoing transformation of Plymouth’s city centre. The structure, measuring 130m by 50m in plan, forms a real landmark and houses a 12-screen cinema stacked above 13 restaurants, a large indoor golf leisure facility, a sky-bar and several levels of car parking.

With a structural grid changing up the building to suit efficient layouts for the auditoriums, retail units and car parking, and a planning height restriction, the steel frame is necessarily complex with offset bracing, transfer structures and shallow composite beams.

A steel frame was the natural choice for this highly integrated mixed-use scheme incorporating a range of leisure uses over car parking in this tricky city-centre site. The judges were impressed with the collaborative approach of the team: sharing of digital models was key to the success of quality and coordination as well as the development of critical construction stage modelling.

Judges’ comment