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Stephenson Building,
Newcastle University

Originally designed in the 1940’s and established as a world class facility for students and research partners, the Stephenson Building had outgrown its lifespan. It was decided to upgrade the facility for the 21st century and beyond, but still retain part of the original structure. In order to reduce waste and material consumption, the task was to part new build and part refurbish the existing building. A critical element of this was a Veil steel structure made of 3 parts. Part 1, on Kensington Terrace, features a cantilevering support frame for external cladding and walkways, serving as access points for future M&E maintenance. This 13m high and 5.5m wide structure extends 3.5m from the building, suspended 6m above ground, with a boiler room situated beneath. Our comprehensive approach involved engaging an external engineer for digital scanning and site surveys, a structural engineer for connection designs, and a draughtsman for GA approval, manufacturing, and installation drawings. Similarly, Part 2, the Claremont Road corner, shares a similar cantilevering design but is larger at 13m high and 13.5m long, extending a maximum of 4m from the building also accommodating a substation below. Part 3, the Claremont Road Veil, is a striking 16m high and 41m long cantilevering structure providing access for maintenance and window cleaning, working in collaboration with the site design team for the initial structural design, subsequent external expertise for surveys, scanning, connection designs, and drawing approvals. Numerous coordination meetings were essential for this intricate project due to the added involvement of numerous other sub trades. Its striking final appearance transforms the building into a modern and dynamic structure.

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