STUDIO BOSSES APPLAUD SHOWCASE ENTRANCE BUILT ON TIME AND BUDGET
The High Wycombe-based contractor has created an iconic entrance building for the world-famous recording studios in Iver, Buckinghamshire, in just 14 weeks from seeing a model of the design concept.
Working with Burland TM Architects and structural engineers Stuart Michael Associates, LIFE Build beat a four-month deadline to get the landmark structure ready in time for a visit by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh last Friday.
Spanning new entrance and exit roads, a streamlined roof canopy that echoes the corporate logo of Pinewood Studios is connected to a futuristic two-storey glass-enclosed gatehouse. This provides security facilities at ground level and a media suite on the first floor. The building is served by a platform lift and helical staircase. The stairs continue to roof level, where there is an observation deck for the entire studio complex.
Inviting the Queen to officially open the gatehouse signals the start of major redevelopment plans for the complex. In his welcoming speech, Pinewood Studios Group chief executive Ivan Dunleavy paid tribute to the project team for accomplishing the high-speed development on time and on budget. You deserve an Oscar, he added.
The Queen also raised the fast-track performance shortly afterwards when she met members of the LIFE Build team, including contracts manager Colin Napier, site manager Lee Batten, surveyor Anthony Raine and director Ken Adams
When she asked Ken Adams how tight the programme was, he told her they were proud to have met the challenge in only 14 weeks. You must have done a good job because it was on budget and on time, said the Queen.
Colin Napier and Lee Batten had only recently completed rebuilding the fire-ravaged 007 stage when they were called back by Pinewood to create the new gatehouse. Given the extremely short timescale for a scheme of this size and complexity, everyone is amazed we delivered on time, said Colin. Being a curved structure, this job was as demanding as it gets, with no two pieces of steelwork the same. Just about every detail and cladding panel was different and required individual design and fabrication.
For Lee Batten, meeting the Queen and Prince Philip was the best day of my construction career.
Pinewood’s head of group property, David Wight, commented: Given a challenging deadline for completion, we selected the same team that rebuilt our 007 stage in record time and again we’re delighted with the result. This iconic gateway not only spectacularly enhances the studios frontage, it also launches our future development plans to establish a new hub for the creative industries.
Among recent productions shot at Pinewood were Casino Royale and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which is currently showing at cinemas. Now the newly-built structure will welcome the stars and creators of some of the finest film and television the UK produces for generations to come.