Taking in challenges and overcoming the problems
Erecting this top-heavy structure while ensuring traceability of the 1021 unique components was a challenge. Access to the structure was problematic, requiring complex rope access and working while being suspended in mid-air. Carpenter Oak assembled as much as possible of the structure on the deck below to allow for the challenging access. The architects had envisaged the canopy going up as a distinct series of five trusses; however, our eventual solution was to sub-erect three much larger sections resting on a scaffold cradle which was then lifted by two large cranes. Such rationalisation of the erection methodology cut this section of the work schedule by half, to one month, while the total erection took six weeks.
Frame design details
The irregular form of the structure meant that each of the 800 larch poles had unique measurements, as did the 221 galvanised steel nodes. Each node was fabricated on specially constructed jigs, this was because a very high accuracy was needed for the canopy’s triangulation to work. A high degree of three-dimensional tolerance was required, a mere 20mm over the entire structure, and since each of the poles had its individual features, drilling to a tolerance of 2mm over Award-winning connections was needed.