To celebrate World Architecture Day, we asked our engineering team to reflect on their favourite architectural project. Kyle Alexander explains how the Stonebridge Park project gave him the opportunity to push the boundaries in design when developing the curved, stepped feature entrance to the Rotunda building.
The award-winning Stonebridge Park Project is £16.6 million development which created an entirely new neighbourhood, producing 117 new homes in the area. Kyle explains how his design used manageable brick slip units to achieve a complex design resulting in the impressive entrance to this 9 storey circular building.
What Challenges Did This Project Present?
The curved, and stepped feature entrance to the Rotunda building required a solution that would achieve the architect’s complex design in a relatively short space of time, these time constraints put additional pressure on us to provide a successful solution. Due to the complexity of this feature and the dimensions and location of the structural RC frame that we had to fix the product to, we had to overcome a wide variety of structural challenges.
What Solutions Were Developed To Overcome These Challenges?
To overcome the time constraints of this project, I worked in conjunction the clients Structural Engineer who designed a steel framework for us to fix our steel work onto. This allowed me time to work on the design of the building’s façade and the connection of the system to the steel frame. My design included tall structural steel hanging brackets fixed to the steel frame which in turn allowed for a curved manufactured stainless steel angle to support brickwork. To accommodate the underside of these steel angles, I designed a brick clad, curved stainless steel unit in small, light and manageable sections and finally bolted this to the angle above. My final design came about by considering many aspects. The factors I needed to take into consideration included, but were not limited to; the structural adequacy of the element and how it would complement the other building techniques used in the project, the longevity of the building as a whole and the ease and speed of installation.
What Is Your Favourite Architectural Feature On This Project?
My favourite architectural feature is definitely the entrance to the Rotunda building which provides an outstanding feature to the project as a whole and will serve as a landmark for many years to come.
Why Did You Enjoy Working On This Project?
The Stonebridge Park project gave me a chance to push the boundaries in design and provide a system which has proven to be the key feature for this award-winning project.