28th September 2018

Thomasons work structural alchemy to scoop Structural Award

Thomasons recently celebrated winning a prestigious Structural Award North West for its work on The Alchemist.

Organised by The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the awards recognise the very best in engineering across the North West of England.

Thomasons provided the structural engineering consultancy for the building, a £1.7 million commercial development in MediaCity, Salford.

The practice worked with Reid Architects, contractor Artez, MEP consultant Zerum and quantity surveyor Walker Sime to deliver the project for client Peel Media Ltd.

Planned as a single-storey building with a large proportion of sky facing surface, The Alchemist was designed to act as a visual beacon and urban connector, linking between the adjacent Lowry Centre and MediaCity. Housing a restaurant and cocktail bar, it offers views across the historic Manchester Ship Canal.

The creative concept behind The Alchemist was idiosyncratic, featuring multiple cantilevered surfaces. For example, the 360m2 steel-framed structure features an external deck which cantilevers beyond the dock wall, over the water, allowing the restaurant’s guests to dine above the canal itself.

The project was ambitious and the challenges faced were unique to The Alchemist’s proposed location. Sited on part of a 26 year-old berm which bridges the canal and divides the North Bay dock and the Huron basin, careful consideration had to be given to the nature of the foundations.

Consultancy was also provided by Thomasons to assist the contractor, Artez, in producing risk assessments and method statements for the construction and temporary works of the structural elements which cantilevered over the water.

Commenting on the win, Michael Broadbent, Technical Director at Thomasons, said: “This highly sought-after award celebrates the very best in structural engineering, not just in the North West, but across the UK. The whole project was completed within nine months of construction commencing, a considerable achievement which can be attributed to all parties working in collaboration. This accolade is testament to this efficiency.”

He continues: “The Alchemist brings a great deal of character to the surrounding location. A highly individual design statement underpinned by a robust, complex structure, its visually appealing cantilevered surfaces and dazzling golden cladding adds something special to the ever-evolving locale of MediaCity. We were very proud to be involved in such a significant project”

To find out more about Thomasons’ work in leisure industry click here.

Photo credit: Andrew Wall