As the set for the blockbusting Casino Royale was being dismantled, the large shed constructed specially for Bond movies burnt down. The Pinewood Group, owners of Pinewood Studios, needed a very quick rebuilding and wanted to take the opportunity to make improvements as well. In essence they wanted to increase the size of the largest stage in Europe but keep within the same footprint.
Redesign and construction of the Pinewood James Bond Studio following major fire damage
That meant finding a solution that works structurally and could be built within the very limited timeframe, between July 2006 and February 2007. It was an exercise in applying engineering skill within a complicated matrix of time, value for money and a specialised use.
Though the obvious design solution was to rebuild the walls that originally sloped inwards vertically, that presented considerable structural challenges. The new span would be 50 m, not itself hugely difficult but the structure also has to be capable of hanging large loads, at any point, so the roof had to have a grid. Because of the new loading it was not practical to reuse existing foundations. The result is not the most economical 50 m span roof, but one appropriate for its rarified function.