expands with steel
Set within a Site of Special Scientific
Interest (SSSI), the Rushden Lakes
development is centred around a
series of man-made and natural
lakes in the Nene Valley, Northamptonshire,
and includes 30 retail outlets, a visitor
centre as well as lakeside restaurants and a
boathouse providing aquatic craft for hire.
Adjoining phase one of the scheme
(see NSC November 2016) which opened
last year, a second phase of construction
is under way and consists of a 14-screen
cinema block with ground floor leisure
outlets, an attached 120m-long two-storey
western restaurant and leisure terrace that
overlooks a lake, and a fourth retail block
Steel construction was successfully
employed for the first phase retail zones.
This has led the project team to use steel
once again for its second phase.
The steel-framed 28m-high cinema block
contains an IMAX screen and 13 other
smaller screens, all housed at first floor
level. Ground floor has the main entrance
lobby and a number of leisure outlets,
including an indoor climbing zone.
Structurally the cinema block is a large
braced box, stabilised with cross bracing
located in cores, stairwells, walls and in the
Having 14 screens all sat within one large
building and on top of leisure facilities has
meant a lot of design work was necessary
to stop noise permeating between the
various zones. To mitigate against this the
cinema screen’s steelwork includes acoustic
“There are between 30 and 40
connections per screen within the main
cinema frame that needed acoustic isolation
packs,” explains Caunton Engineering
Project Engineer Chris Duff.
These connections are either located
where beams connect to perimeter walls
or in partitions between individual cinema
“The pads also completely isolate the
ground floor steelwork from the first
floor, which is why some of the columns
are spliced at this level with pads inserted
between the two members,” adds Mr Duff.
All of the cinema screens are open-plan
column-free spaces with the IMAX being
the largest and measuring 24m × 27m. A
series of spliced rafters form the roof as well
as a plant deck over this screen.
Using up to four mobile cranes - with
capacities of between 50t and 80t - at any
one time, Caunton Engineering started the
erection programme with retail Block D,
which is located on the opposite eastern end
of the development.
Steel erection then moved on to the
IMAX screen. This part of the cinema
building reaches the maximum 28m
Phase 2 of the Rushden Lakes development is under way as
steelwork erection nears completion on a 14-screen cinema
block, and further restaurant and retail units.
Rushden Lakes Phase 2,
LXB Retail Properties,
The Crown Estate
The Harris Partnership
Steel tonnage: 2,500t
The completed Phase 2