Bridgwater Police Station

This project, one of three similar commissions for Avon and Somerset Police, consisted of the creation of a Charge Desk and it’s installation in the custody suite of the new police headquarters in Bridgwater. In order to fulfil the client’s requirements we developed the original outline design (by Ryder Architects of Newcastle upon Tyne), manufactured a full size mock-up and undertook ergonomic testing with end users in our workshops & onsite, completed fabrication drawings for manufacture, sectional construction, transport and final assembly on site. We were acting in a sub-contractor capacity for the Main Contractor, Miller Construction. The whole process was managed by our Joinery Director, Steve Hodges and carried out by our own, directly employed craftsmen..

We have experience in this specialised field, having constructed charge desks in custody suites previously, but this project was substantially more complex than anything we have done before. Not only did the installation have to meet the users requirements, it also had to meet recently revised Home Office guidance designed to ensure the safety of staff and provide a calming atmosphere.

The challenge was to manufacture a complex unit, comprising of the main desk, curved privacy screens and storage furniture. The solid surface material was required to curve in two planes, horizontally and vertically to meet new guidlines. To achieve this, the main desk was constructed in sections, each comprising of a timber skeleton clad with Corian. Thermoform techniques were used to achieve the required profile; exceptionally fine tolerances were essential to ensure a perfectly smooth finish on assembly of the fabricated structure. Traditional joinery skills were deployed to work contemporary materials into a state of the art installation.
The sections were transported 300+ miles to site and installed by our craftsmen. The project was completed within programme and met our zero defects standard on handover – an extraordinary achievement given the complexity of the project and the challenges that were entailed.

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