Saturday, 1 September 2012

Barrel vault rooflight installation at Wahaca restaurant (Southbank, London)

Oxford Street based London Softroom Architects contacted us back in December 2011 to discuss a very unique project - they had been commissioned to design a new restaurant for the Mexican tapas chain Wahaca.

This new "pop-up" restaurant was being planned for installation on the outdoor terrace of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre (along side Waterloo Bridge) - a very exciting and vibrant area of the capital.

It was to be no ordinary construction, 8No. shipping containers stacked in pairs were to create the structure of the two storey building and a glazed link running the entire length of the building would flood the restaurant with natural daylight.

Stacks of shipping containers create the structure.

It was agreed that our continuous barrel-vault rooflight would provide the perfect solution for the glazed atrium and so we worked closely with Softroom Architects to ensure the detailing and product specification was correct from the beginning. It was decided that 5No. 1200x2000mm opening ventilation flaps should be incorporated into our rooflight, to provide natural ventilation.

Once du Boulay Contracts were appointed as principle building contractor we secured the order for the design, manufacture, supply and installation of the rooflight. The final rooflight dimension was for a roof opening size of: 1.7 metres wide x 24 metres long, complete with the 5No. equally spaced opening flaps.

Our completed rooflight installation at Wahaca Southbank

We worked very closely with du Boulay's contract manager, as this project presented its own unique set of challenges. The shipping containers were being converted and prepared off-site, which meant that they would be delivered and craned into position pretty much complete and the build program was therefore incredibly tight.

Due to the delivery schedule of the shipping containers (6No. delivered in phase one with the balance 2No. delivered some 3 weeks later), du Boulay asked us to conduct our rooflight installation in two phases. As soon as the first batch of containers had been craned into position, we attended site to install the first half of our rooflight, meaning the building was watertight and internal finishing could continue (a good job really, because we were experiencing a very rainy British summer at the time!!).
Watch our video of the last container being craned into position.

Once the last container had been lifted into position we returned to site to complete our rooflight installation. In just two days we had completed phase two of the installation, including mounting the 5No. opening flaps and 230v motors. du Boulay were then able to complete the internal fit out in a water-tight building envelope and get the project completed and handed over on-time.

5No. large 230v opening flaps provide natural ventilation.

When you're next on Southbank, why not stop by at Wahaca and enjoy a hearty burrito or a delicious taco underneath our rooflight - please let us know what you think.

Thank you for reading this article, if you would like more information about our rooflights or anything else - please leave a comment below, email us or call 01284 749051.