Stage One

Creative Construction and Manufacture

SCROLL & DISCOVER

Ceremonies.
The complex integration of
staging, technology &
scenic treatments.

Ceremonies.

Dramatic transformations

This flying pomegranate, complete with a thousand seeds,
produced one of the stand-out memories of the
Opening Ceremony for the 1st European Games in Baku.

Manufactured in-house, this 10m symbol of unity
combined fastidious technical and artistic detailing,
magically opening mid-flight to release its ‘seeds’.

Attention to detail
on a global stage

We’ve been behind the world’s most exciting ceremonies,
celebrated by billions of people across the world.

Each ceremony comes with hugely different creative
and technical requirements, meaning that our experience
becomes a valuable problem-solving resource.

Cablenet & Qmotion:
Perfect partners

Our eighth Olympic Games saw us deliver a
catenary based flying system in PyeongChang’s
purpose-built open-air stadium. The flying system
comprised four catenary lines attached to four
60m towers outside the stadium perimeter, our crew
working 50m above the field of play.

The flying system helped deliver three ceremonies:
a giant pyrotechnic effect for the Olympic Opening and
deploying the beautiful seven-storey Korean roof
for the Closing Ceremony.

A new era in ceremony
automation & control

Our ground-breaking track system powered all four Sochi
Winter Olympic ceremonies, opening up the creative
possibilities of the vast space within Fisht stadium.

The system comprised nine tracks, each with up to nine
carriages, useing buzz bar technology to guide the complex
choreography of performers and super-sized scenic
elements at high speeds and to pinpoint accuracy.

The system facilitated over 400 axes of movement
for a stunning series of performances.

Talk to the team

Got a project we can help with?
Whatever the scale, size or scope,
give us a call.

Please phone +44 1423 358001

or visit our Contact page for more details
on how to get in touch.

Events.
Creating bespoke experiential
and corporate environments

Events.

Helping you look good

As set builders we’ve been helping to create
immersive and engaging product launches, brand
activations, exhibitions and all manner of
events for decades.

Delegates, special guests, the public: whoever
you wish to involve, we can build the entire
environment in which to bring it all to life.

From a simple but beautiful scenic build, to
automation, graphics and specialist finishes.
We manufacture and install everything for your
event, exhibition or launch.

We've got you covered

It doesn’t matter if your event is a festival, a corporate
gig, a product launch, a private party, an exhibition
or a simple piece of brand activation. From an eye-catching
centrepiece to the creation of fully immersive environments,
we build them all.

We have carpenters, metal workers, painters and a very
capable crew who will travel anywhere in the world to
install your set. And we’ll do it quickly.

Take a look at the range of projects we deliver here.

Automation: adding
to the experience

It’s been over thirty years since we first suspended
a car and spun it around in mid air. Executing dramatic
manoeuvres with motor vehicles is where our Qmotion
automation system began.

These days we can offer over 400 axes of complex
movement, but you don’t have to use them all at
once. Our skills can be applied across a range of
scales, delivering ingenious technical effects for
projects large and small.

Graphics: visual
communication
spelt out

As a representation of your brand, graphics
communicate far more than the words
they spell or the images they present.

Our understanding of font, colour and
varieties of scale and format can be key
to achieving the best way to communicate
your message, reinforce your brand and
engage your audience. From simple signage
to an eye (or bubble) popping logo.

Talk to the team

Got a project we can help with?
Whatever the scale, size or scope,
give us a call.

Please phone +44 1423 358001

or visit our Contact page for more details
on how to get in touch.

Scenic.
Astonishing detail,
whatever the brief

Scenic. (2)

Great scenic doesn't
grow on trees

Compelling scenic elements change ordinary
environments into things people remember
forever. And it doesn’t have to be hard to
come by – if you know who to ask.

Whether you’re in the market for a
giant piece of scenery big enough to fill an
aircraft hangar, or a pocket sized item that
fits in the palm of your hand, you’ll find
we’ve got the skills to make it.

Quality where it counts

Our business is making. The final destinations
for our scenic items are diverse; from museums,
exhibitions and conferences, to theatres, product
launches and events.

Whatever the occasion, we can set the scene with
precision and an immaculate attention to detail,
or create a beautifully finished show-stopping
centrepiece.

We go wherever your brief takes us.

Whatever the scale

If you want a 40 metre replica ice breaker,
we can build you one. Most of our work,
however, is considerably smaller.

Regardless of size, or quantity, the same
skills are used to recreate all our clients’
designs, achieving astonishing detail
for all sorts of scenic purposes.

Fine detail and realism
by the barrel-full

We have a wealth and diversity of expertise
that we’d love to share. From traditional
skills, materials and finishes to the latest
digital technology: our workshops and decades
of experience are a unique resource.

Not only will we find the right solution for
your project, but our capacity enables us to
respond, manufacture and deliver quickly,
often to the shortest of lead times.

Talk to the team

Got a project we can help with?
Whatever the scale, size or scope,
give us a call.

Please phone +44 1423 358001

or visit our Contact page for more details
on how to get in touch.

TV & Film.
Facilities, sets and scenery
for broadcast and cinema

TV & Film.

Experience where
& when it counts

Our experienced site crews understand
the challenges and deadlines of TV
and film. They are renowned for getting
the job done, to the highest of standards,
achieving camera-ready results at precisely
the right time.

CNC sculpting:
large capacity,
accurate & fast

Our CNC facilities are available as a
stand-alone service for sculpting multiples
or one-off items, from a range of foam or
timber substrates.

All work is carried out by experienced technicians
who understand the demands of the creative
industries. We can offer a quick turnaround and
have the flexibility to accommodate tight deadlines
and filming schedules.

Winch & hoist hire for
gravity-defying magic

Our precision high-speed systems have enabled
Lara Croft & 007 to defy gravity and provided the
drive behind all manner of special effects.

We design and manufacture our kit in-house,
controlling quality, performance and reliability.
Partnered with our Qmotion control systems,
our kit also comes with fully trained operators
or training for your own personnel, if required.

We have a vast inventory of kit in stock
available for long or short term hire.

Phone +44 1423 358001

The test of time

Durability is important for long-running
TV shows and these sets need to be built
to stand the test of time.

As cost is important, we also undertake
set refurbishment, extending the life of a
well-designed set by giving it a brand new look.
When a large scale global event requires
multiple projects all at the same time, our
capacity and experience really come into
their own.

Talk to the team

Got a project we can help with?
Whatever the scale, size or scope,
give us a call.

Please phone +44 1423 358001

or visit our Contact page for more details
on how to get in touch.

Theatre.
It's where we began
and where we
continue to innovate

Theatre.

Creating theatrical
environments

Our theatre credentials go back decades
and our experience takes in the West End,
regional theatre and venues across the world.

The capacity and diversity of our workshops is
what makes us different. With 14,000sqm of
high-tech workshop space at our disposal
across three aircraft hangars, we can realise
the most complex and challenging designs.

 

Production
& Technical Services

From a design brief and the very first series
of producer & production meetings, we can
provide consultancy for cost planning and
technical specifications, including proof of
concept for significant scenic elements.
R&D and innovation is in our nature and we
have the facilities and people to test your ideas.

Everything.
Even the kitchen sink

Whatever your production requires, we can
provide it. Above and below the stage, we
manufacture our own equipment in-house
but also have a huge range of stock kit
you can hire. On stage, we have a deft and
experienced hand, transforming set designs
into audience-thrilling reality.

From simple
to complex solutions

Our design team, engineers and scenic departments
have created some of the most iconic productions
and toured them across the globe.

Scale is relative.
We can accommodate both large and small.

Talk to the team

Got a project we can help with?
Whatever the scale, size or scope,
give us a call.

Please phone +44 1423 358001

or visit our Contact page for more details
on how to get in touch.

Art Installations.
The practical expertise
enabling the artistic vision

Art Installations.

Playing to the gallery

Facilitating art installations makes good
use of our skills. Precision, patience and
care are all important. Listening to and
understanding the artist’s creative intent
are, however, paramount.

Our work in the creative industries
draws on the practical, technical
and creative, making us ideally placed
to assist in public realm art of all kinds.

From felt pen sketch to
home for 10,000 bowls

Of course you don’t have to know exactly
what you want when you contact us, we
can work with you to develop and refine
an idea or method.

Ceramicist Clare Twomey brought a felt-pen
sketch when she came to visit us. We
worked with her idea, refining the design
to create shelving that precisely suited the
needs of her work, as well as the structural
considerations of the newly renovated gallery.

 

Lifting design off
the page

Turning a two dimensional design into
a three dimensional reality can present
some unique challenges.

For these intricate sculptures, the primary
challenge came in the form of text. When
2D text is wrapped around a 3D model, retaining
proportions and legibility becomes a major
consideration. We worked with Jaguar’s
designs, developing the 3D drawings to
work out the best method of manufacture,
retaining both the creative and communicative
intent of the design.

Whatever the context

Inside. Outside. Glass case or plinth.
Suspended from the ceiling or carefully
fixed to the structure of an historic building.

And whether it’s creating the sculpture itself,
carrying out structural calculations, groundworks,
rigging or the finer points of installation: we’ll
pull together all the strands of your project.

 

Talk to the team

Got a project we can help with?
Whatever the scale, size or scope,
give us a call.

Please phone +44 1423 358001

or visit our Contact page for more details
on how to get in touch.

Serpentine Pavilions.
Unique commissions,
developing new ideas.

Serpentine Pavilions.

Global talent, local inspiration

Since 2009, we have constructed each of
the Serpentine pavilions, working with
architectural talent from across the world
and producing a series of vastly different
demountable structures.

Kéré’s 2017 pavilion was inspired by a tree
in his local village. His design focused on
community: a large, generous canopy of
cantilevered steel rose from a central support,
panels of slatted wood and curved indigo walls
providing shade, shelter and a place to meet.

  • Serpentine Pavilion
    2017
  • Architect
    Kéré Architecture
  • Photograph
    Ste Murray

Unzipping the process

Time, tide and Serpentine schedule
wait for no one.

The timeline of the pavilion commission is
notoriously tight and while this imparts a
welcome sense of urgency and even excitement,
it also relies heavily on successful
collaboration, accuracy,a skilled workshop
and a deft hand at site management.

The 14m-high unzipped wall of the 2016 pavilion
required the precise orientation of the hollow
‘bricks’ to within a tolerance of just 1mm.

An experimental opportunity

The brief to create a temporary structure invites
a very different response from the architect and
similarly, requires a very different response from
us as manufacturer and builder.

The colourful chrysalis-like 2015 pavilion was
deliberately ephemeral. It explored the temporary
nature of the commission through the materials
used and employed a continually evolving and
highly experimental approach to the design.

Material diversity

Since 2009, we have constructed each of
the Serpentine pavilions, working with
some of the world’s most prominent
architects and producing a series of
vastly different demountable structures.

The pavilions have employed a wide range
of materials: wood, steel, cork, GRP and
EFTE to name a few; each structure using
them in new and interesting ways.

On this, the 2014 pavilion, we worked with
Smiljan Radic to develop the fibrous, textured
surface of the GRP panels.

A collaborative process

The build for each Serpentine pavilion has
followed more or less the same path and is
dictated primarily by the extremely tight
timeline. This, in turn, depends upon a
successful collaborative approach that includes
all parties, allowing rapid progress to be made
from the very outset.

The confined construction footprint limits
the type and quantity of work that can be
carried out on the site.

For Sou Fujimoto’s pavilion, we prefabricated
a series of 56 modules that were transported
by truck and fitted together on site.

Rapid prototyping

With such a tight timeline for each build,
our ability to quickly fabricate sample
sections, fixings, finishes and assembly
techniques – all in-house – comes into its
own. Our CAD and 3D printing facilities
in particular mean rapid and detailed
feedback for the architect and allow the
collaborative process to flourish.

For the subterranean 2012 pavilion, we
worked extensively with cork, an unusual
but surprisingly malleable material, cutting
and sculpting it in our workshops before
fitting, planing and sanding it on site.

The importance of
being finished

Our origins in the world of theatre mean
we know how to take a deadline seriously.
On site, our experienced build team know
exactly what needs to be done and when,
ensuring that when the hoarding comes
down and the curtain rises, the pavilion
will be ready for visitors.

The painterly finish applied to Peter Zumthor’s
Hortus Conclusus set the scene perfectly,
providing a quiet backdrop for the planting
designed by Piet Oudolph.

From the ground up

As main contractor, we undertake all
ground works for each pavilion, providing
the necessary footings, foundations,
drainage, power and water, ensuring the
pavilion is fully ready for use as a party
and arts venue.

Once summer is over, we return the site
to its original verdant condition, as
required by the Royal Parks.

The 2010 pavilion by Jean Nouvel, saw us
fabricate the 45 tonnes of steelwork in our
workshops including a subterranean U beam
base for the nine 12.5m screen ribs.

A commission of contrasts

The diversity and inherently experimental
nature of the Serpentine commission
has enabled us to draw on a different
set of skills each year.

The complex geometry of the 2009 pavilion
drew heavily on our experience working with
composite materials. Each one of the 172 roof
panels was different, requiring invisible
fixings and bespoke column heads.

We are incredibly proud of our involvement
in such a ground-breaking series of unique,
innovative and diverse structures.

Pavilion expertise

To talk to us about pavilions or structures,
phone +44 1423 358001 or take a look at
our Contact page for more details.

  • Serpentine Gallery
    London

Engineering.
Innovation at the heart
of creativity

Engineering.

Engineering a change
in dimension

Lifting performances off the stage and
into the air brings a whole new realm
of space into play.

We use track systems, cablenets or even
a single spot hoist to open up creative space,
bringing anything from 1 to 400+ axis
of motion into play for all kinds of
product launches, ceremonies and shows.

 

Room to experiment

R&D is inherent in virtually every project
we deliver. Finding ways to realise the
visions of our creative clients draws heavily
on ingenuity as well as hard graft.

Innovation requires space and we’re lucky
to have plenty. Test builds, test rigs and
trials allow both us and our clients to learn.
This learning enables us to make the kind of
choices that deliver the best of results.

Engineered choreography

Used in quantity and combination, our
stage engineering can be used to create
the most dramatic of transformations.

For the 2015 Baku European Games
Opening ceremony, twenty scissor and
column lifts enabled the earth to move as
the ground cracked open and a 14 metre
high mountain slowly emerged.

Our scenic team transformed the lifts
into vast slabs of rock, complete with
back-lit prehistoric paintings.

Complex simplicity

Taking someone else’s one-off design
and working with them to turn it into a
fully functioning reality has resulted
in some of our most rewarding moments.

Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the
London 2012 Olympic cauldron was seen
by audiences all over the world. The most
complex device we have ever built, it
delivered beauty and reliability in a
seemingly simple form, belying the
complex engineering within.

Talk to the team

Got a project we can help with?
Whatever the scale, size or scope,
give us a call.

Please phone +44 1423 358001

or visit our Contact page for more details
on how to get in touch.