As part of the development of East London for the 2012 Olympics, SCX Special Projects have played their part by ‘dampening’ the Stratford Shoal, so named because of its resemblance to swimming fish.
The 250m wall of opalescent titanium leaf shapes has been specially designed by London architects Studio Egret West to enliven the area between two shopping centres adjacent to the Olympic Park; Westfield and Stratford.
The 73 leaves are mounted on tree-like steel structures, created by SHS Structures, and run around the front of the Stratford Centre, swaying with the wind. Designed to flow freely, with the appearance of natural movement, the leaves are actually controlled by SCX Special Projects’ 146 hydraulic damper assemblies. Two dampers per leaf soften the power of strong winds back to a pre-set maximum force, producing consistent leaf movement even in really windy conditions.
Unlike other Olympic projects, the Stratford Shoal has been funded by local commercial money in order to brighten up the area and therefore the image of the shopping centres ready for the influx in visitors during the Olympic Games.
Although not as complex as a lot of SCX Special Projects’ engineering solutions, a project like this enables SCX Special Projects to demonstrate their capability in a more public arena.
SCX’s Project Manager Daniel Salthouse said: “It’s always rather satisfying to be part of a high-profile project such as this one. We install bespoke lifting and handling solutions in manufacturing plants and nuclear power stations all over the UK, but our public-arena projects such as the Wimbledon roof or the Gherkin window cleaning system are recognised by a much wider audience – and now we can say we were part of London 2012!”