Metal Works Round-up
Take the stairs
Spiral Staircase Systems has designed what it claims is the first example of a helical stair supported entirely by space frame balustrading for a swimming pool at the Throstles Nest site in West Yorkshire.Unlike traditional helical stairs which use solid stringers to support the structure, the Throstles Nest stair has a pair of cross-braced frames running on either side of glass treads, using the top bars to form a double handrail. Stainless steel bars with forked castings at either end are welded to all four tubes. Finally, stainless steel cables pull the frame together. The structure is finished with 12 32mm glass treads leading to a glass landing. Swimmers can also use the back of the stairs as a ladder when climbing out of the pool.
Passionate about corrugated iron
'We are not alone in having a passion for old tin sheds' claims Sue Clifford, director of Common Ground 'but we also love joyous new buildings built of corrugated iron.' The Corrugated Iron Club is part of Common Ground's campaign for Local Distinctiveness. In denouncing corrugated iron's cheapyet-bland status, or its 'homogenising influence' on the landscape, the club advocates the material's flexibility for the designer in creating small yet distinctive local buildings. The Corrugated Iron Club is always keen to hear about interesting architectural applications of the material. Traditionalists and romantics alike should visit www. corrugated-iron-club. info for more information.
With an estimated 80,000 tonnes of composite sandwich panels used each year in the UK, the disposal of end-of-life panels has significant implications for the environment. In recognition of the fact that composite panels are not being recycled at the same rate as other steel products, the Steel Construction Institute has begun work on a project to investigate the barriers to recycling composite sandwich panels. The project, attracting support from companies including Corus Colours, the MCRMA and Corus Panels and Profiles, will endeavour to understand and resolve the issue of sustainability in relation to the product and will involve all members of the supply chain. Contact the SCI on 01344 623345 for further information.
Bridging the gap
Bridge Engineering is the new technical journal by the Institute of Civil Engineers, dedicated to the design, construction, maintenance and management of bridge structures around the world.
Projects featured in the first issue will include Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the El Ferdan Bridge in Egypt and the Jiangyin Yangtze River Bridge. Telephone 020 7665 2450 for subscription details.
Another fine mesh
An interesting new addition to the range of architectural wiremesh products currently available comes from Potter and Soar. St James mesh is tightly woven in a complex pattern to create an unusual 'herringbone' effect, which changes when viewed from different angles. The mesh is intended to offer designers maximum flexibility in creating dramatic vistas for wall coverings, room dividers and screening. St James mesh is available in polished or natural recycled stainless steel or alternatively, a range of non-ferrous metal alloys. Click on www. architecturalmesh. co. uk for more information.