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Wonderwall: Folkestone Fish Restaurant

At the new £2M fish restaurant in Folkestone will be a state of the art building offering 5-star dining with spectacular views across Folkestone Harbour, where diners will be able to see the catch being brought ashore using the adjacent slipway.

Building it has been no small engineering feat.

“The engineering of this building has required the full evaluation of numerous options to achieve the required architectural form in this hostile marine environment,” says CampbellReith partner Mike Allen.

Wave wall

Initially a steel deck/ bridge structure that spanned across the corner of the harbour was thought to provide the best solution as this would avoid constructing foundations within the tidal zone.

However, when full wave impact loads were considered and the potential effects of global warming over the 60-year design life, the necessary protection of the steelwork and ground floor slab was found to be too costly.

“We therefore opted for a wave protection wall designed with a return curved profile to divert wave energy away from the building,” Allen says.

The foundation solution involved initially casting the massive reinforced concrete foundations/ ballast blocks in culverts at low tide.

“We were fortunate not to encounter too many obstructions and to have extremely good Folkestone beds as a founding stratum”

Mike Allen, CampbellReith

The wall face is exposed above beach level and was formed using precast units up to 13t in weight - the weight of the units was limited by cranage options on the site.

Foundation work went better than expected.

“We were fortunate not to encounter too many obstructions and to have extremely good Folkestone beds as a founding stratum,” says Allen.

The new wall will support the reinforced concrete ground floor and ground beams. The latter carry the loads from the steel columns supporting the steel framed superstructure, that has been designed to allow the slim floor zones to meet the building height restrictions.

“We have had to use double beams to achieve this over some of the long spans,” says Allen.

Those challenges are now overcome. The project is due for completion in April 2011 in time for the Folkestone Triennial Arts Festival in June 2011.

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