The roof is made from ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), the translucent high-tech material used on the Eden Project in Cornwall and Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena in Germany.
“Completing the atrium structure and covering it in its Eden Project-like material is a real milestone but we’re already looking forward to the next step,” said Network Rail project director Chris Montgomery. This is the removal of 6,000 tonnes of concrete over two floors of the old Pallasades shopping centre.
Demolition of the former Pallasades will allow natural light to come through the new roof directly onto the new concourse.
Demolition contractor Coleman & Company will spend the next six months on this. To keep noise levels down during night time work, it will use a nibbler rather than a jackhammer.
Main contractor on the project is Mace, whose director of project delivery Martyn Woodhouse said: “Demolition by its very nature can be noisy work so we have carefully planned this work with Coleman’s so we cause as little noise as possible. During the demolition we are using a machine which has been specially made to ‘munch’ through or crush the concrete beams. The traditional method of ‘hammering’ or ‘pecking’ the concrete would have been much noisier. The noisiest work, concrete slab breaking, will be restricted to the daytime.”
Mark Coleman, managing director at Coleman & Company, said “To demolish 6,000 tonnes of cast reinforced concrete from the centre of a busy city centre construction site, above a live operational rail station, without noise, dust and disruption is a huge engineering challenge. Some of these beams weigh more than the equivalent of 30 Range Rovers. Our engineers have been working closely with Network Rail and Mace, assessing the structure and crunching the numbers, to ensure that all works are completed to the highest standards.”
The video below shows the roof structure taking shape.
If you liked that, there is also a video of the previous stage, showing the supporting steelwork for the atrium being erected. This took place between March 2013 and July 2014.