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Medway Crematorium

Architect: Clay Architects
Name of fabricator: Hellings Fabrications Ltd
Hot dip galvanized by: Joseph Ash Medway
End client: Medway Council
Finish provided: Hot dip galvanizing and powder coating
Size and amount of steel: 5.8 metres high by 4.7 metres wide

Project goals
In 2013 Clay Architecture was chosen by Medway Council to redesign and rebuild part of Medway Crematorium in Chatham, in order to house new fuel-efficient cremation ovens. It was a great choice by Medway Council as Clay Architecture had recently won the prestigious regional RIBA award for their work.

As part of the project, Clay Architecture asked Hellings Fabrications Ltd to build a two-tonne window screen. Hellings then asked Joseph Ash Medway to hot dip galvanize and powder coat their work. 

The screen was designed by Clay Architecture to sit in front of the crematorium’s chapel window in order to provide privacy for families attending cremations. It was also designed to let in natural sunlight, whilst at the same time preventing glare from the morning and evening sun.

It is a complex structure with many intricate sections designed to sympathetically suit the existing patterns on the crematorium’s windows.

What happened
Hellings managed the fabrication from their Margate workshop, and Joseph Ash Medway hot dip galvanized and powder coated it from their Medway plant. 

Because it is so large – measuring 5.8 metres high by 4.7 metres wide – it had to be fabricated and galvanized in four parts.

When the structure was ready, MGC transported it to Medway Crematorium, where Hellings erected it on site, using special lifting equipment.

The redesign of Medway Crematorium is such a stunning piece of architecture that it was awarded a prestigious RIBA prize for architecture in 2014.

The screen is a beautiful addition to the redesigned crematorium and Joseph Ash Medway was very proud to have been part of its production.

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Title: A community clubhouse for Harlesden Town Garden
Name of fabricator: Friends of Harlesden Town Garden
Architects and contractors: Storp Weber Architects, the Bartlett School of Architecture, LafargeF.H. BrundleLathams 
Hot dip galvanized by: Joseph Ash Medway
End client: Friends of Harlesden Town Garden
Finish provided: Hot dip galvanizing
Size and amount of steel: 72 sheets of steel

Project goals
In 2013, an open space and playground for the local community in Harlesden had become an area that was uninviting and known for anti-social behaviour. A community consultation was held to see how to improve the land. As a result, an organisation called the Friends of Harlesden Town Garden (FHTG) was created (in partnership with Crisis Brent and Brent Council) to improve the parkland with a new play area for children, a green lawn and wildflower area, a multi-use games area and raised bed allotments. As part of the project, FHTG also wanted to build a community Clubhouse. A number of volunteers, businesses, charities and educational facilities – including Joseph Ash Medway, Storp Weber Architects, the Bartlett School of Architecture, LafargeF.H. Brundle, and Lathams – stepped in to help with construction and funding.

What happened
The Clubhouse sits at the heart of the new community garden. Designed by local Brent Architects Storp Weber – as part of an on-going research and community outreach activity at the Bartlett School of Architecture – the building acts as a central hub where visitors and gardeners can go for tea and biscuits or conversation. It is also used as a multi-functional, eco-friendly venue for workshops, events and meetings.

Materials and size
The main shell of the Clubhouse is a shipping container surrounded with a steel frame and timber panelled perimeter. Lafarge provided the insulation, Lathams provided the timber, and F.H. Brundle provided the steel frame which we were only too happy to hot dip galvanize.

Joseph Ash Medway collected 72 pieces of steel in total, collectively weighing 842kg, from the Bartlett School of Architecture, hot dip galvanized it and delivered it to Harlesdon. The galvanized finish will protect the steel from the elements – rust and erosion – for the next 25 years.

The Clubhouse project was completed in July 2019, and it has successfully brought together local residents and gardeners in all weathers.

Tim Palmer at Joseph Ash Medway said: “The Harlesden Community Garden Project is a great initiative where people can work hard, play hard, exercise, learn new skills, improve their area, and meet new people. The Clubhouse acts as a focal point for the garden and we were happy to donate our services when the School of Architecture approached us. It has been great to work in partnership with Storp Weber, Lafarge, Brundle Steel, Lathams and the students at the University. It’s also amazing to see what can be achieved when many groups – communities, organisations, businesses – pull together.”

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Construction and engineering: Andrew Scott Ltd
Name of fabricator: Shufflebottom
Galvanized by: Joseph Ash Galvanizing
End client: South Wales Fire and Rescue Service
Size and amount of steel: 16 tonnes

Project goals
In June 2012 the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service submitted plans to demolish the fire station in Hirwaun in the Cynon Valley in Wales, in order to replace it with a new environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art fire station, worth £1 million. 

Permission was granted by the Rhondda Cynon Taf council, and the work soon began.

What happened
The new fire station was built by Andrew Scott Ltd, a construction and engineering company, who commissioned Shufflebottom Ltd to make the steel frame.

The new fire station opened in 2013.

It is an interesting building because it was designed to not only act as a fire station, but also for use by the whole community. It also had to blend in well with its surroundings, which includes housing, industrial units and mountains. Finally, it needed to be environmentally friendly.

As well as being made of steel, the building – with its integrated training tower – also uses salvaged Welsh slate, timber cladding and two green roofs complete with grass that absorbs pollution in the atmosphere and reduces heating bills. The local wildlife was also considered in the design as the building includes bat boxes and a sparrow terrace.

Shufflebottom is a valued customer of Joseph Ash Galvanizing. We were happy to assist with this project and we were thrilled for both Shufflebottom and Andrew Scott Ltd when they won a RIDBA FAB award for the building in the Spring of 2015.

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