Heron Quays

Jamestown’s Weathering Steel Solves a Watery Problem

Situated in a prestigious site in London’s Docklands, the new Heron Quays Pavilion building at Middle Dock posed special challenges for the developers Canary Wharf Contractors and architects, Jun Aoki Associates.

An Exclusive  Members’ Club near Canary Wharf

This five-storey building, which will be used by the exclusive Quay Club,  will have guest rooms, restaurants and a gym.  It is located directly over the water, and the decision was taken to use an existing system of piles, originally constructed for a smaller building in the 1980s.

A Steel Frame for Lightness

Although the piles were sound, the weight of the new building would obviously be limited to the piling’s load-bearing capacity.  A steel frame was, therefore, an obvious choice, for its relative lightness, and the contract was awarded to Yorkshire-based Elland Steel Structures, a firm which had already been involved in other complex Docklands projects.  The design of the steel beams was complex,  allowing for the possibility that some of the piles might settle more than others under load.

Weathering Steel for Corrosion Resistance

The lower deck of the building would obviously be exposed to the marine environment, and consideration, therefore, needed to be given to its corrosion resistance.  Because the deck would be difficult to inspect and maintain once the building was complete, a high level of durability was important.  Jamestown’s weathering steel was chosen as the ideal solution, as it would not only require no special finish to be applied after construction but would also have a long life without the need for regular maintenance.

This an unusual application for weathering steel, which is more commonly used for structures such as bridges.

An Unusual Job

Building over water produced some other unusual job requirements.  Much of the early stage work needed to be performed from floating pontoons, which imposed its own difficulties; and construction workers on the site were surprised to discover that they were required to wear life-jackets, which is an unusual Health and Safety stipulation for builders.

The building is expected to be ready for occupation in 2019.