A steel design and manufacturing company has joined forces with Manchester Galvanizing Ltd to complete a project out of this world.
Jodrell Bank, a radio telescope site based in Cheshire worked with Pendle-based fabricator DP Structures, to create 17 galvanized frames to form the architecturally-stunning installation called ‘First Light Pavilion’, as part of a new £25 million pound project.
David Palmer, Managing and Creative Director at DP Structures, said: “In 2021, we were approached by Realm Projects to assist in designing and manufacturing projection frames for a brand-new interactive area at Jodrell Bank. The interior had been designed by London architects Casson Mann, who had planned to utilise material from the old steel radio telescope dish to retain part of a heritage feature, inside the new attraction by creating a curved amphitheatre.”
Tasked with their creation, DP Structures used sub-frames that formed a cradle which allowed for the integrity of the antique patina of the original dish to remain intact. Due to bearing significant weight, the legs were fabricated using 200x200mm and 180mm RHS steel sections before being slotted together.
“The legs of the frames were adjustable – with their height and angle able to move to align with the projection equipment – and so galvanizing was a necessity,” David continued. “The alternative would have been paint, but this would have easily scratched and ruined the overall aesthetic.
“After fabrication, we enlisted support from Manchester Galvanizing Ltd, where the legs were galvanized,” David added. “Thanks to their high-quality service and quick turnaround times, we’ve worked with Manchester Galvanizing many times over the past 15 years, and they delivered yet again on this exciting project.”
The frames had a fibreglass enclosure with internal lighting which allowed them to glow within the dark surroundings. After years of planning, the exhibition opened in June 2022 as a permanent fixture.
Mark Waters, Commercial Manager at Manchester Galvanizing, concluded: “What a fantastic project – we’re sure that these frames will allow many visitors at Jodrell Bank to appreciate and admire the fantastic interactive amphitheatre.
“We’ve worked with DP Structures for a number of years, and they always bring new and exciting projects to us, which are an absolute joy to work on. Their standards are second-to-none and it’s no surprise that this fantastic project has been submitted to the 2023 GAGA Awards – we wish you the very best of luck, and can’t wait to see the next project!”
Jodrell Bank’s ‘First Light Pavilion’ is a world-leading science research institute providing an immersive planetarium experience to explore the depths of space and unearth stories of Jodrell Bank’s pioneering scientists.
By Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd