Steelwork goes up as events building for National Memorial Arboretum takes shape
The construction of a £5.6 million brand-new events building at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire has reached a milestone with the installation of the steelwork structure.
Contractor Stepnell used a 60-tonne mobile crane to put into position the five-metre high steel frame of the new events space at the Arboretum which, with 350 memorials and 30,000 trees, is the UK’s national focus for remembrance.
Set for completion in August 2018, the events venue will be known as Aspects at the National Memorial Arboretum. It will complement the Arboretum’s award-winning Remembrance Centre which opened in October 2016 and was also built by Stepnell.
The construction team will now move on to complete the roofing, walls and fit out of the single-storey events building, designed by Glenn Howells Architects. It features two walls made entirely of glass and a rear terrace – providing views over the 150-acre Arboretum – as well as light-coloured timber cladding.
The modern facilities will provide an attractive and versatile setting for the Arboretum’s varied and extensive programme of functions and events, including banqueting space for up to 300 people, a bar area, a kitchen and meeting rooms.
Stepnell construction director Bill Haynes comments: “We are extremely pleased to have progressed to this important stage in the construction of the new events building for the Arboretum. The scheme will deliver a high-specification building in keeping with the exacting standards set by the Remembrance Centre and further enhance the experience of visitors to this unique and nationally significant site.”
Mark Ellis, head of commercial operations at the Arboretum, says: “Glenn Howells Architects and Stepnell are helping us to create a very different kind of event space. Beautifully crafted to complement the living tribute in which it sits, it will prove to be the perfect venue for ‘events that matter, in a place that matters’.”
The Remembrance Centre was officially opened by the Duke of Cambridge in 2017 and has won a series of architectural and construction awards, including a gold medal for Stepnell project manager John Neill at the 2017 Construction Manager of the Year Awards. The new events building is being delivered in the second phase of the development programme for the Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion.