Usher Hall

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Architect LDN Architects
Main Contractor Expanded Structures
Precast Contractor Border Concrete Products
Consulting Engineer Will Rudd Davidson

Originally constructed in 1914, the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, stands in the heart of Scotland’s capital, and is renowned as a world-class venue that has played host to some of the 20th century’s greatest artists and musicians. The venue was recently renovated and extended to provide new and improved facilities housed in a brand new glass-fronted wing.

J&P was initially presented with an insitu cast slab with an architectural ribbed soffit - which would be visible from the floor below. The emphasis was very much on the requirement for an extremely high quality finish and a desire from the architect to achieve an impression that the ribbed slab was “floating on air”.

The ribbed features presented the additional challenge of having to trim into areas consisting of curved downstand beams - again without a visible connection.

During consultation with the main contractor, it quickly became apparent the desired objective would not be possible using an insitu casting method - so following further dialogue it was agreed that a precast solution would be more suitable.

J&P explored a number of possibilities with the precast contractor, Border Concrete Products and the main contractor Expanded Structures, culminating in a proposal to utilise J&P’s TSS invisible connectors.

The innovative solution involved the TSS units being rotated through 90°, to accommodate the bearer within the slender 125mm rib section (see image above).

The additional challenge of the supporting downstand being radiused was easily accommodated due to the flexibility of the TSS units, and the detailed dimensional/setting-out information provided by J&P to the contractors ensured accurate positioning for the varying angles required.

The project again demonstrates J&P’s commitment to value-engineered solutions through establishing a detailed and complete understanding of customer requirements, and working closely with the design team to achieve project objectives.

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