ECS Engineering Services delivers steelwork for new Paris landmark
In the current climate of austerity, many of the major building projects in Paris have been shelved, but one has survived, the Paris Philharmonic building, which is set to become one of the landmarks of the city. The striking design requires a great deal of engineering expertise to ensure that the completed concert hall will meet the required standards. Part of that expertise is being provided by ECS Engineering Services, which has been sub-contracted to provide a proportion of the structural steelwork.
Construction started back in September 2009, but with a 12 month period during which no work was carried out, the completion date has now been set for the end of 2014. As the building has emerged from the ground, so the deliveries of concrete and steel have continued apace. ECS won the contract to supply 307 tonnes of steelwork which will form part of the roof structure.
John Cotterill, Operations Director for ECS, explains: “The job was to produce a set of I-beams not only with bespoke flange connections, but also with rectangular cut-outs in the vertical sections. The dimensions had to be met exactly so that our fabrications would fit together perfectly with the materials already on site.
“Although the CE marking regulations had not come into force at the time this project was completed, all of the steel was produced under CE certification standards. ECS had completed the approval process for CE marking of structural steel after nearly two years work. This is just the latest achievement of our professional and dedicated engineers.”
The fabrication department of ECS recently moved to new premises at Fullwood, where it processes 180 tonnes of structural steel every week using the 50,000 sq ft of floor space. The new facility is equipped with the latest plasma cutting, machining and welding equipment along with 75 tonnes of lifting capacity, which all enables ECS to handle a wide range of fabrication tasks and deliver them on time.
The steelwork for Paris had to be delivered to a tight deadline to fit in with the build schedule on site, so it was essential that the fabrication work was completed on time. This included the plasma cutting of the rectangular holes, for which precision was crucial to prevent misalignment later in the build.
The Paris Philharmonic building is located in the Parc de la Villette, on the north-east edge of Paris and the construction area covers nearly 20,000 sqm. When completed, it will seat 2,400 people in an arrangement that has been carefully designed to ensure the optimum acoustic experience.