Boardman House
Norwich University of the Arts

Rossi Long Consulting were the structural and civil engineers as well as providing transport consultancy services for the new further education facility providing a base for architectural studies on this historically significant building.  The scope of works included significant but sensitive remodeling of the existing building, which included removal of load-bearing walls to create a double height entrance atrium requiring a new steel frame to restrain the original façade.  These walls were integral to restraining the cantilevered internal balcony and extensive engineering works were required to maintain the stability of this walkway.

A feature stair with water cut filigree steel balustrading and ‘floating’ half landing dominates the central space.  This is designed to cantilever at landing level with concealed supports incorporating a hinged display assembly.

At basement level below, much of the internal structure was removed to generate clear space for the media studio with green-screen technology.  To achieve this, additional foundations and steel framing was installed and careful co-ordination of temporary and permanent structural engineering was required to achieve the final layout.

On the first floor, a structural glass floor is incorporated into one of the tutorial rooms to allow visibility of the original stone stair below.

Historical features have been maintained and the redevelopment carefully integrates the new structure with the original including original cast iron columns, stone stairs and the flitched timber cantilever roof over with lantern glazing over the main floor space.

A defining challenge throughout was the logistics of structural alterations without the use of cranes and with limitations on deliveries to this site.  Designs were ever mindful of these constraints and close collaboration with the contractor was essential to achieve the extent of alteration required by the architect.

Now providing an inspiring environment to future architects, we are proud to have continued our connection to the building and NUA by guest critiquing tutorial work by architectural students. Since the redevelopment of this Grade 2* listed former Sunday School building in the heart of Norwich city, the project has received awards or short-listed for 10 awards.