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Saga headquarters Michael Hopkins & Partners

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Working Details

The Pavilion, a 35 x 20m restaurant and amenity hall, is covered with an arched 14m-high fabric membrane roof supported on a series of tubular steel arches, a high-level 'bicycle wheel' arch and a lower arch. The end walls are glazed; the side walls have curved, clerestory glazing. Kitchens, a servery, WCs and meeting rooms are contained in single-storey blocks on the east and west sides; they consist of glazed walls and insulated roofs suspended from a steel frame.

The curved roof-frames are supported by a series of paired 244mm-diameter columns set at 7.2m centres at the sides of the hall, next

to the single-storey blocks. A node, welded to the top of each column, acts as the connection point for structural and constructional elements. It is the interface between fabric, structure, glazing and rainwater drainage.

Each node consists of two vertical, 30mm steel plates welded into a T- shape; they intersect with a horizontal plate which caps the columns and forms a cruciform bracket; the ends of the two arches which support the roof are welded to this bracket.

The curved, 324mm-diameter arch members are mitred and butt-welded together before being fixed to the node. The chs clerestory arches which rise on each side are bolted to the edges of the bracket.

The side of the node facing outside is fitted with a shallow hopper which receives rainwater from the roof. The water drains into a sump and syphonic outlet, concealed in a fabricated steel box, and down a pipe set between the two columns. Tubular steel members which support the side blocks are bolted at all three sides of the drainage outlet.

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