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Negotiating the deal

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Benoy involved Hoogovens at a very early stage, to assist with the design details and to assess its ability to rise to the challenge. A series of technical presentations followed, not only to the architects but to the Australian client, Lend Lease, and construction manager Bovis.

Visits were arranged to the British Rail Terminal at Manchester Airport, designed by Austin-Smith:Lord and winner of the prestigious Brunel Award for the best station of its size in the world, where Hoogovens had recently completed a complex contract which involved introducing glazing between the twin curved pitches of the aluminium roof.

The company also built scale mock-ups of key design features at the new shopping centre and planned project-specific training programmes for the chosen installer's senior operatives and supervisory personnel.

Discussions took place between Hoogovens and Waterman Partnership, the civil and structural engineer, to consider how to modify the steel structure to ensure the fixings for the standing-seam system could be in the correct position. On the 'handkerchief' dome, for instance, there are 16 steel ribs segmenting the sphere and the company knew that the setting out would be crucial for the accurate positioning of the tapered sheets.

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