Client: MK1 Leisure Park Cinema Complex
The MK1 Leisure park Cinema Complex relied heavily on the long span qualities and the speed of construction of steel. The BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated project consists of two interlinked steel-framed structures, the first structure is a portal framed building used to accommodate seven restaurants and the entrance to the cinema. The other building a braced structure, located directly behind, that will house the cinema.
BHC Ltd. designed the steel frame to meet the specifications while being developed efficiently as possible. During the design process, BHC Ltd. reduced the size of the steel members where possible and ensured that the steel sections work to their capacity while meeting the specified performance criteria.
The portal frame section of the building is approximately 103 m x 31 m and is used to house seven restaurants. The slightly taller braced frame of the cinema complex is separated from the portal frame by a service corridor that runs along the rear of the restaurants. To accommodate the 10 cinema screens of varying sizes, an irregular grid pattern was used. Above the centrally located foyer, there is 733 sqm to allow access to all screen projectors and roof plant equipment.
Before BHC Ltd. erecting the steel structures, Main Contractor McLaren Construction started work on site with a groundworks programme that included the installation of piled foundations meaning a substantial amount of planning and coordination was required by BHC Ltd. to avoid placing cranes on top of the installed piles.
The first section of the complex to be erected was the centrally positioned IMAX theatre. Once the fully braced box was erected and fully stable, BHC Ltd. could then proceed to erect the rest of the cinema screen around it. The cinema complex is a collection of 11 individual braced boxes, all connected into one large all-encompassing box. The IMAX theatre is the largest with a clear span of 19.5 m. This box was formed with a large 2.5 m deep truss positioned at one end that supports the high roof over the IMAX.
Using two mobile cranes, BHC Ltd. erected the cinema steelwork with two erection squads working outwards from the IMAX. Perimeter columns for the cinema were 14 m high to suit the parapets and are spaced at regular intervals. The main foyer is centrally located, with clear spans of up to 13.7 m. A series of transfer beams, positioned in line with the main entrance and extending into the foyer’s perimeter, support the mezzanine floor.