Here at UAS, you may not find us, during a well-earned tea break, kicking back with the Times crossword, but we very much enjoy problem solving and the challenge presented on this project was unlike anything we had seen before.
When the enquiry came in, it went as follows: “Would UAS be able to design and build a complex birdcage structure over three film sets? Oh, and we need you to be able to build it within an industrial unit, whilst working adjacent to and on top of the production set being constructed below at the same time. One last thing, due to our filming schedule, any chance you can do it in 6 weeks rather than the 12 weeks we first envisaged”.
What followed was many kettles being boiled, much tea being consumed and thinking caps firmly in place. So, working with our design consultancy partner, the main contractor and the client, we embarked on the phase of ‘what are the constraints, including logistical, time, resources and cost’, whilst looking for that optimal solution. The design philosophy was to introduce a steel frame, thereby minimising our usual structure specification, whilst providing the construction and production teams the space they required to achieve their set builds.
Health & Safety was, as always, paramount throughout the project, and the collaboration between UAS, the construction teams and the H&S advisers, whilst liaising with the production unit was a critical success factor. Its amazing what happens when all parties are focused on the same outcomes.
So having solved the design and build approach, of course, then the reality kicks in of “roll up the sleeves, work with the inevitable changes, but remain focused on the desired outcome”. We were working 24/7 with 4 teams which in itself was a unique experience for our workers. It’s not every day that you get to erect a birdcage with 762 Apollo X beams and over 7,000 boards.
The outcome? Project delivered on time, to budget and specification, ready for the media production to create one of the biggest global phenomenon to hit your screens. We are delighted to say that the relationship continues to this day as we support the client with adaptions & inspections.
Is it likely that we will get a call like that again? We would like to think so as we don’t feel ready to start hitting those crosswords just yet.