Perega, one of the UK’s leading independent structural and civil engineering practices, recently delivered essential design consultancy for the new Windrush Monument at Waterloo Station, which was unveiled last week on Windrush Day.
Led by Associate Engineer Rob Parsell, Perega’s talented glass and façade team was originally brought onto the project by the glazing sub-contractor Prism Glass Ltd to undertake a design review to guarantee the new landmark’s structural integrity, ensuring it posed no public risk.
The monument itself was designed by renowned Jamaican sculptor, Basil Watson, and depicts a man, woman, and child in their ‘Sunday best’, standing on top of a mountain of suitcases hand in hand, demonstrating the bond between the Windrush pioneers.
Located on the first-floor concourse at Waterloo Station, its position has been chosen for maximum visual impact. However, its designated placement on a high-traffic walkway in one of London’s busiest stations meant that precautionary measures would be needed to protect both passers-by and the statue itself.
Perega came onto the site in late March 2022, only three months out from the scheduled unveiling on 22nd June, and were tasked with solving a critical safety issue in conjunction with the existing concourse balustrading.
Specifically, the project’s design team identified that it was possible for people to stand on the monument’s plinth and be higher than the top of the existing balustrade. Given its positioning on the station’s upper level, it created a potential hazard for commuters during rush hour or members of the public illegally climbing on the statue.
Requiring an immediate and rapid solution, Perega’s engineers, who had actually worked on the design and installation of the original balustrade, decided that it would need to be expanded and enhanced. To this end, the three panels directly behind the new sculpture were replaced with higher panels, increasing the height from 1.1m to 2.8m, reducing risk whilst meeting official design standards.
The new glazing was designed and engineered to match the 12mm + 15mm thickness of the original heat-soaked toughened laminated glass panels, sandwiching a 1.52mm PVB interlayer. These were then fixed into the original stainless steel base clamp detail and subsequently tied back into the existing handrail using a new bespoke capping detail.
Working to an incredibly tight deadline, Perega delivered the project with its signature agility and dedication to quality, completing the review and delivering accurate calculations promptly.
Commenting on the project, Rob Parsell says. “This monument is of immense cultural significance, so to be actively involved in its delivery is an honour and a privilege.”
“It presented some unique challenges, particularly due to its location on a high footfall concourse in one of the UK’s largest and busiest train stations. One of the main roles of structural engineers is to ensure public safety, which is why our delivery of the final design review was so crucial. Our recommendations to adapt the balustrade ensure that commuters and tourists can enjoy this monument, without visual compromise or risk to their safety.”
Perega is an employee-owned UK structural and civil engineering practice. Headquartered in Guildford, Perega works dynamically with its clients across a wide range of sectors, notably healthcare, education, and retail.
The company prioritises a forward-thinking approach to engineering, adding value through effective communication to deliver high-quality, innovative and cost-effective engineering solutions.
The Perega team’s experience spans from private houses and retirement villages to large retail parks, major hospital redevelopments, and town centre regenerations.
Tel: 01483 565 886
Address: 86 Epsom Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 2BX