The waiting is finally over. The rumours are no more. It has started. What has started you may well ask?
Costco Stevenage is finally underway. After a couple of years of rumours of the potential arrival of one of the world’s biggest wholesalers coming to town, work has finally begun to transform one of Stevenage’s iconic landmarks at the old 14.5 acre John Lewis storage facility in Cavendish Road.
Contract given to provide construction site progress photography
Why mention the launch of this new project? Well, locally it’s pretty big news and is set to become a major employer in the area. Indigoplum, local commercial and architectural photographers have been given the contract to provide the progress photography for the duration of the 56 week period.
“As well as the site progress photography, we’re looking forward to taking the photos at the two official launches as well as the architectural photography of the final construction of the site”, says Simon Lane, head photographer at Indigoplum.
J F FINNEGAN LTD, the Costco appointed Sheffield based constructors for the project were looking for a local specialist architectural and construction photographer in Stevenage in order to record the progress of the demolition and construction of this huge project on a weekly basis. J F Finnegan were asked by Costco to provide photos which were required each Thursday at the Costco headquarters in Washington State and Indigoplum was appointed as the official site photographers.
In order for Costco to monitor the progress from the USA, it was necessary to replicate the angles as close as possible each week that best show both external and internal demolition and construction. Indigoplum obtained an existing site plan and following a couple of visits to the site, the camera positions and angles were then mapped onto the plan. Information and notes containing lens and technical data were incorporated, marked up and then shared between 3 photographers with Simon Lane as the key photographer. Each of the camera positions were then marked on the ground with white paint and an original set of images was produced and loaded onto mobile phones so that all three photographers could easily replicate all the images. The photos are currently taken each Wednesday morning, the post production and conversion to jpegs being done on a Wednesday afternoon and uploaded to a private download gallery on the Indigoplum website, ready for downloading in high resolution by the start of play each Thursday.
The project is of particular interest because as well as new build, there are areas of roofing with grade 2 listing. These huge areas of concrete roof have been designed in such a way that they are set to become a feature of interest for the new Costco. Demolition is currently taking place to remove the old loading bays, leaving the roof intact. The original front reception and office building will be completely demolished and replaced with a new entrance incorporating a curved modern facia. The site progress photography clearly shows how the demolition team is working around the preservation of those areas of the existing roof that will remain.
The design of the roof contains skylights which are positioned almost vertically within the multifaceted angles of the roof. They give good natural light however, the shape and detailing in the roof can only be clearly seen from specific angles.
“When we did the initial site inspection, we noticed that from walking straight in to the warehouse and storage area from the original entrance it was difficult to see how the angular structure could be seen in 2 dimensional picture form. By walking through the site internally we found positions and view points where light and shadow were well defined giving the viewer a clear and optimised insight into the shape of the existing construction.”
The majority of the photography is external and most of the camera positions are located all the way around the perimeter. It was of course important with this project, to be able to show the development of the roadways, parking areas and general infrastructure, as well as building demolition and new construction.
“Each site visit entails us walking approximately two and a half miles in total. Because of such large scales, we carry site radios and are in constant contact with the demolition teams so that access to demolition areas can be carried out safely. It’s tiring but at the same time, interesting to see how the changes are starting to develop”
The project is expected to be completed next summer.
Click here to view Indigoplum’s construction photographer portfolio, or call 0333 900 2792 for more information.