2015 Structural Steel Design Awards winners revealed

The Structural Steel Design Awards have recognised and rewarded many of the best examples of ambition and innovation in the built environment demonstrating the excellence achievable with the use of steel, as well as structural and architectural design.  This year’s collection of entries continued that great tradition, the award judges said.

They selected the award winning entries from a shortlist of 14, all of which scored highly in terms of efficiency, cost effectiveness, aesthetics, sustainability and innovation.

The five projects receiving awards this year are:

  • Island Pavilion and Footbridge, Wormsley
  • Merchant Square Footbridge, London
  • Derby Arena
  • First World War Galleries, Imperial War Museum, London
  • Moorgate Exchange, London

Chairman of the Judges, David Lazenby CBE said “I have been most struck by the acceptance that teams really must work very closely together, to cross-fertilise ideas and to create the best circumstances for those ideas to come to fruition," said chairman of the judges David Lazenby." I have also been impressed by the determination to achieve this close collaboration."

He went on to say that industry is acutely aware that the tough times of recent years have not entirely ended. "Last year it was hoped that the signs of improvement would strengthen, but times are certainly not yet easy for the industry. So it is impressive to be able to report that we continue to see a really outstanding set of results." 

Commendations were awarded to three structures: Greenwich Reach Swing Bridge, London; Milton Court, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Heathrow Terminal 2B.

Certificates of Merit were awarded to two further structures: Weathering Steel House, Putney and Kew House, Richmond.

The 2015 Award Winners:

Island Pavilion and Footbridge, Wormsley

Architect: Robin Snell and Partners

Structural Engineer: Momentum   

Steelwork Contractor: Sheetfabs (Nottm) Ltd

Main Contractor: Mace Ltd
Client: Wormsley Estate

Judges’ comments:

In rolling parkland set with architectural “gems”, this small pavilion and its access bridge are exquisite. The detailing and fabrication of the partly tapered, and partly stainless, plated steel members are exemplary. As the site was effectively in a swamp, the whole team worked hard to achieve timely results.

The project is a testament to the pursuit of technical refinement when economy is not key. 

Merchant Square Footbridge, London

Architect: Knight Architects   

Structural Engineer: AKT II

Steelwork Contractor: S H Structures Ltd

Main Contractor: Mace Ltd       

Client: European Land & Property Ltd

Judges’ comments:

The new footbridge over Paddington Basin is formed of five fingers which are each raised by hydraulic rams, and rotate about an axis on one side of the basin.

The erection of this novel structure was solved imaginatively by the contractor, as were the extreme requirements for accuracy.

This is in the tradition of exciting sculptural bridges in steelwork at this development.

Derby Arena

Architect: FaulknerBrowns

Structural Engineer: Arup 

Contractor: Billington Structures Ltd    

Main Contractor: Bowmer & Kirkland

Client: Derby City Council

Judges’ comments:

A very well-executed project for a new velodrome that challenges the normal configuration by lifting the track to free-up the ground floor for a multi-use sports facility. The highly efficient steel-framed structure, with its 85m spans, exposes the steelwork where appropriate.

The building’s success owes much to careful integration of the architecture and engineering.

First World War Galleries, Imperial War Museum, London

Architect: Foster + Partners

Structural Engineer: Buro Happold Engineering

Steelwork Contractor: Bourne Steel Ltd     

Main Contractors: Lend Lease  
Client: The Trustees of the Imperial War Museum

Judges’ comments:

A dramatic new atrium has been built within the transformed museum. Angular and robust structures frame new galleries and support war machines in a cathedral-like space. Steel construction uniquely allowed constraints of access and time to be well answered. The visitor route is now clear and exciting.

A strong sign of success is that visitor numbers have doubled in the year.

Moorgate Exchange, London

Architect: HKR Architects

Structural Engineer: Ramboll

Steelwork Contractor: Severfield

Main Contractor: Skanska UK Ltd

Client: Blackrock

Judges’ comments:

The team maximised the net lettable space by exploiting the great benefits of a steel frame – long clear spans with minimal fire engineered columns, and with a reduced overall floor depth that enabled the incorporation of an additional storey. Level access to external balconies was a clever bonus. The lightweight superstructure permitted a raft foundation, impossible with other solutions.

A commercial success thanks to intelligent steelwork.

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