In early October we held our Stitch In Time Two Years On event at The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Steve Rebbeck, Technical Director and Alistair McArthur, our Head of Costume updated those in attendance of the recent activity onsite and how the Costume team are working in their temporary home at Arden Street.

Steve Rebbeck explained how demolition began in March as well as the installation of underpinning to support the new structure. The right side of the garden outside Chapel Lane was removed to allow access to the site. Demolition was complete in April and then the trenching and sheet piling was installed. The machine used to drive the piling into the ground used vibrations to do so, providing a (fairly) quiet installation. Once the piling was complete the ground had to be evened before the first concrete was poured.

Demolition began onsite in March 2019

The concrete pour was intended to be fully complete before the steel frame was installed. However, we learnt that the concrete was not strong enough to hold the 50ft crane needed to install the steel frames. This meant the onsite building contractors revised their planning and poured the concrete on half of the site and installed that part of the structure first. Once that section is fully complete, they will pour the remaining concrete and install the remaining beams as the crane backs out of site towards Chapel Lane.

The buildings have been designed with the future in mind. Items in the workrooms such as tables, lighting equipment and power outlets are adjustable and moveable. During the evening, Alistair commented that what works for one department now might not work as effectively in the future, so they want to have the flexibility to adapt as required.

Alistair shared with our guests how working in Arden Street has had a positive impact on the Costume Workshop team. In the old workshop everyone had kitchenettes in their own room which meant everyone took their breaks separately. In Arden Street there are no amenities in individual rooms, so everyone takes breaks together in a Green Room. This is a new habit they intend to bring back with them once they move into their new workshop.

Once the concrete was poured the steel beams could be installed.

The buildings have been designed with the future in mind. Items in the workrooms such as tables, lighting equipment and power outlets are adjustable and moveable. During the evening, Alistair commented that what works for one department now might not work as effectively in the future, so they want to have the flexibility to adapt as required.

Alistair shared with our guests how working in Arden Street has had a positive impact on the Costume Workshop team. In the old workshop everyone had kitchenettes in their own room which meant everyone took their breaks separately. In Arden Street there are no amenities in individual rooms, so everyone takes breaks together in a Green Room. This is a new habit they intend to bring back with them once they move into their new workshop.

Working in Arden Street has also impacted the layout of the new building. Arden Street is set up to reflect the layout of the new workshop as much as possible, allowing the teams to adapt to their new spaces and trial different workroom layouts. However, some spaces could not be adapted to perfectly reflect the new design, one example of this is the costume admin offices. As you can see in the mock-up below the admin offices are next door to Alistair’s office with separate entrances.

However, in Arden Street Alistair’s office has been temporarily created as a small room within a larger office space. The team found that the new interconnection between the two offices created an easy channel of communication and they were more easily able to openly discuss ongoing projects. After realising this the plans for the new workshop have been adapted to move the access door to Alistair’s office so the entrance is now located within the Admin Office.

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