Sunderland City Hall (Vaux 2)

  • Location
  • Sector
    Commercial Office Development
  • Main Contractor
    Bowmer + Kirkland
  • Architect & Engineer
    FaulknerBrowns Architects & Cundall
  • Steelwork Contractor
    Hambleton Steel
  • Westok Solution
    140T Westok Cellular Beams


The former VAUX Brewery site in Sunderland is currently being transformed with an ambitious £500M Masterplan, delivering high quality commercial offices, as well as residential, retail, leisure, hotel and dining usages. The 5.5ha site to the north-west of the city is being developed in phases to bring a new mixed-use neighbourhood to the area. The second phase of the Masterplan comprises the 140,000sq ft £42M Sunderland City Hall.

The City Hall scheme comprises two blocks, one five-storey and one six-storey tower, linked by a covered central walkway. The blocks are arranged around a central core with clear-span Westok cellular beams framing from the core to the perimeter.

As is often the case in modern commercial developments, much of the structure is exposed. At City Hall, the scheme makes use of long-span hollowcore floor units.

Westok Solution

The 12m clear-span Westok cellular beams frame from the core to the perimeter of the building, thus generating the desired column-free spaces. Precambers have been installed in the Westoks at the manufacturing stage, to economically cater for dead load deflection issues.

The continuous string of cells in the Westoks facilitate the effortless integration of Mechanical and Electrical services with the depth of the beam. The extra cells facilitate late changes to the design, and also create some future flexibility also.

Kloeckner Westok provided free design guidance to the Consulting Engineering firm Cundall, and manufactured some 140t of Westok cellular beams on the scheme for Hambleton Steel. The building is currently well underway by Main Contractor Bowmer + Kirkland.

Images courtesy of NSC

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