The Structural Awards by the Institution of Structural Engineers, are the world’s leading awards for structural engineering excellence. There are 13 different award categories, and much attention will be placed on the award for Structural Transformation, which focuses on structural engineering excellence in the transformation, repurposing or extension of an existing building or structure.
Confirmation that the aptly named Majestic building in Leeds has been nominated for award for Structural Transformation at the Structural Awards 2021, brings a neat conclusion to a journey Kloeckner Metals UK Westok commenced some five years ago.
Few buildings can boast such a wide-ranging history as the Grade II Majestic building. The Majestic Cinema with a curved entrance façade, classical dome and Parthenon-styled frieze, opened in the summer of 1922 facilitating 2,800 cinema-goers. The building also housed a basement ballroom, restaurant, tea lounge and galleried circulation area.
The cinema gave way to bingo in the 1960s until the 1990s, where the building was sold and re-opened as the popular Majestic nightclub and music venue. Unfortunately, the building was badly damaged by fire in October 2014.
In September 2016, the Leeds office of consulting structural engineers Buro Happold were tasked with the design of the renovation of this much loved city centre icon. Buro Happold asked Westok to provide design guidance on the incorporation of clear-span Westok cellular beams to form an integral part of the structural redevelopment.
Channel 4’s new headquarters in Leeds
Image source: Prolific North
Fast forward to September 2021, and the reimagined the Majestic building has been sensitively transformed from a fire-damaged shell to a new steel-framed commercial development with seven floors of Grade A office space supported by low-carbon lightweight ribbon-cut Westok beams throughout.
Westok engineers worked closely with the team at Buro Happold, as well as main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine and Leeds-based steelwork contractor Leonard Cooper.
The climate emergency is forcing engineers and architects to deliver innovative and sustainable design solutions. At Majestic, Buro Happold and DLA Architecture have certainly prolonged the life of this much loved city-centre icon, creating a new chapter in its history.
Westok are delighted to have played our part in another sensitive city-centre structural transformation, with the use of low-carbon clear span cellular beams.