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The Walronds, Cullompton

Sensitively restored to act as a hub for community activity for all

The Project

The Walronds is a Listed Grade 1 building erected in 1605. It was originally constructed as a dwelling house but has been used as a meeting house at ground floor level with a maisonette formed within the two floors immediately over the ground floor.  The building was on the English Heritage register of buildings at risk.  The proposal involved the renovation and conservation of the building which includes improvements to fire safety.


Building Control

The refurbishment was carried out with great sensitivity under the watchful eye of architects Benjamin and Beauchamp.  Oculus assisted the Design Team by providing guidance on the fire strategy for the building. The historic fabric and need for limited intervention presented challenges for devising passive fire safety protection whilst avoiding having a significant impact on the building. A comprehensive understanding of the building fabric was a necessity and knowledge of suitable upgrading techniques to protect escape routes, ensuring occupants would be able to reach a place of safety in the event of a fire. 

Oculus liaised with the Design Team, Building Control Body and Fire Authority, obtaining the necessary approvals from the latter two bodies. The upper floors of the building are now in use as a holiday letting and the ground floor is used for a variety of community purposes.


CASE STUDY
Airbus - AWIC

The new £40m Aircraft Wing Integration Centre is arranged to maximise opportunities for departments to share spaces, equipment and ideas and will provide an innovative, highly flexible and easily adaptable physical test environment that forms a proving ground for the future technologies. This includes Airbus’ Wings of tomorrow programme, part of which focuses on exploring how wings can be more efficient, lighter and easier to make and assemble, looking at the best materials to use, assembly techniques and new technologies in aerodynamics and wing architecture. Covering 9,050m2 the scheme comprises hangar facilities including a 'Strong Floor' and relocatable ‘Strong Wall’, a high capacity hydraulic system to power multiple test rigs, three overhead cranes, laboratories, testing control rooms and open plan offices. As this facility is to be used to develop new technologies it was clearly important to build in flexibility for future uses. The delivery team was involved through this period and translated the design development into physical form with the same mind-set.

The ‘Strong Floor’ itself is 40 metres long by 18 metres wide and is housed within a building over 25 metres tall to allow the testing of full size wings from the largest Airbus aircraft including long term fatigue testing. A total of 1,440 cubic metres of concrete was used for the floor which took some 23 hours to cast to a total depth of two metres. The steel reinforcement amounted to a total of approximately 280 tonnes of rebar, estimated to be around 54 km laid end-to-end.

The 'Strong Wall' is 14 metres long, 10 metres high, 4.5 metres deep and has a total weight of 220 tonnes. It is made up of four modules and can be configured in two separate two module walls or a single four module wall. The mounting surfaces are machined to a close tolerance and when erected on the strong floor all points on the flange faces are within +/-1mm of a flat vertical plane. The structure is designed to cope with billions of load cycles so resistance to fatigue is the determining factor as well as its immense strength.

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CASE STUDY
Knole - Conservation Studio

The Conservation Studio is a new facility dedicated to conserving historical objects of the Knole collection. Located in a medieval barn, the Studio has been carefully converted into a two storey building with the original pitched roof profile having been restored after a fire in 1887. The new purpose designed Studio will offer an insight into the work of conservators and their important contribution to the conservation profession. Visitors will be able to observe specialists from multiple conservation disciplines in one location, and gain insight into a world rarely seen from behind closed doors. 

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CASE STUDY
Shakespeare's New Place / Nash's House

Spearheaded by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, a new oak and bronze gateway was created that opens on the original threshold of Shakespeare's New Place. This new permanent exhibition brings to life the story of Shakespeare's New Place and the personal life of its most famous occupant, and where he had his family home for 19 years. 

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