Reading Station has recently undergone massive £879 million refurbishment works with a huge platform overbridge spanning its 15 platforms. Helm-X and Proteus Architects once again teamed up to secure the contract to build 3 steel and glass structures to be leased by 6 retailers.
The design of the units was challenging as there was nowhere inside the station to position a spider crane to hoist materials to overbridge level, which meant we were restricted to using the passenger lift and stairs. Together with strict new glazing rules enforcing a minimum of 21.5mm toughened laminate to be used at stations, meant that the design consisted of using smaller glass panels than normal. The structures also had to be free standing with no fixing into the exisiting floor. The roof structure also had to take the load of a water tank for a fire sprinkler system and air conditioning system, without having any interior supporting columns.
The steelwork was fabricated and powdercoated in Birmingham and delivered to the station during engineering hours, and each unit was completed individually inside hoarding to minimize disruption to the station. Each unit had composite roof sheets fitted and an internal partitioning wall to give 2 shops per unit. The units were fully glazed and fitted with either roller shutters or automatic sliding glass doors. A stainless steel kicker rail was fixed around the perimeter of each unit. It took the Helm-X site team 2 weeks to install each unit ready for the new tenants’ shopfitters to move in.
All 6 shops were open for business in time for the official opening of the station by The Queen. The retailers renting the units are Boots, Oliver Bonas, Cards Galore, Upper Crust, Cornish Pasty Co., and Hotel Chocolate.September 29, 2016 3:22 pm