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Newport’s steel-framed Friars Walk shopping complex opens

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n1601friarswalkNewport’s multi-million pound new shopping complex has opened its doors to shoppers, in what is seen as a landmark for the South Wales city’s regeneration (see NSC May 2015).

Friars Walk has delivered 36,000m² of steel-framed retail and leisure space consisting of three main elements: a three-storey Debenhams anchor store, an eight-screen Cineworld complex and two main blocks of 37 double-height shop units set either side of a pedestrian covered street.

Topping the street is a curved tubular steel frame that supports ETFE lightweight cladding designed to accept the building movement differentials from the main steel frame. The tubular steel beams that span the 11m wide street are seated on large concrete plinths located on the roof of the retail units.

The project also includes an undercroft 350-space car park, 13 restaurants arranged around a new public square and a new bus depot.

Working on behalf of main contractor Bowmer & Kirkland, Caunton Engineering fabricated, supplied and erected 6,000t of structural steelwork for the project.

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