Space Studios is a multi-award winning all purpose built facility for high end TV, film & commercial production in the heart of Manchester. During 2017/18 isGroup worked closely with the main contractor, Vinci Construction, and PRP Architects. This scheme, whilst simple in design presented isGroup with some real challenges:
• Calculating the optimal positions and setting out of the LED’s within the 250mm deep returns of the built up letters to ensure even illumination across the varying block colours
• Designing the cantilever frame to offer maximum supported to the stencil typeface connecting multiple elements together, whilst not detracting from the overall design intent
• Installation of such a large structure during a short 8 hour working window
The external signage was mounted above the parapet using BSEN1090 fabricated and galvanised cantilevering structural steelwork connected to a fully acoustically treated (sound-proofed) framework. The combined weight of letters and framework was in excess of 8 tonnes and spanned 7 metres in width – across a sloping parapet.
The 1.5m tall fabricated built up, face illuminated, rim & return letters were UV printed with protected block colour segments applied to the acrylic face. The letters housed Sloan LED modules and were powered from an IP67 rated enclosure units mounted to the rear of the frame. Components have been designed to be easily maintained from roof level access using the man-safe system.
Prior to installation, external site surveys revealed the existing primary steelwork and determined the anchor points for the new frame to the building. isGroup produced the structural design of the steelwork and all calculations. The manufacturing of new cantilever structural steelwork took place at the isGroup factory headquarters. A Structural Engineer’s report, following site attendance, was produced in preparation for this high level installation.
At installation, isGroup liaised with both the client and Council for use of city 25 tonne city crane and banksmen. Installation of such as large structure during a short 8 hour working window required meticulous planning and coordination with the SPACE personnel to re-route those using the facility were not restricted nor disruption to any production recording in motion. isGroup’s installation team is extensively trained for working at height and have appropriate MEWP, and PASMA qualifications.
Director/Partner, PRP Architects
“We have worked with isGroup extensively over recent years on various projects, particularly SPACE. We knew the isGroup have the experience and ability to work constructively with PRP Architects and the client team to overcome the challenges of creating the main focal point of scheme. We were delighted with isGroup’s proactive approach which met the brief perfectly and exceeded all expectations. Jac and the team are very organised, cooperative and always happy and available to resolve any issues that arise along the way. We look forward to working together again on future projects.”