GS Group makes music for concert hall project

Birmingham Symphony crop
GS Group played a key role in the refurbishment of Birmingham Symphony Hall.

GS Group was recently involved in the hospitality design and installation project for the Birmingham Symphony Hall.

As part of an extensive regeneration programme within the West Midlands city centre, the hall’s refurbishment is part of a £13m build project.

The redevelopment took place on the building’s front, which included an extension and refurbishment of the atrium, ticket hall, bars and catering area across four levels.

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Working alongside major construction group, Galliford Try, and its subcontractors, the distributor’s role was to design, supply and install drinks and foodservice equipment within the bar and catering areas.

In the commercial kitchen areas, the firm used Rational for the combination ovens, Electrolux for the prime cooking equipment, Winterhalter for the warewashing and glasswashing and Foster Coldstores for all of the coldrooms.

Across all the bars, GS incorporated Gamko bottle chillers and Hoshizaki icemakers and selected CED Fabrications for the bar equipment and metal fabrication.

Initially, the Birmingham Symphony Hall was designed to be in operation throughout the entire build process, however, because of Covid-19 hitting at the start of the project, the hall remained closed to the public for the entire process and the surrounding areas were much quieter because of the pandemic.

GS Group director Karl Jones said: “This eased the process slightly as it meant we were able to work within the building without having to worry about the public.

“Therefore because the building was unoccupied for most of the project’s length, we were able to use the elevator which originally was only supposed to be accessed by the public. This resulted in a simplified site logistics plan, as the team were able to move around and transport equipment much easier.”

Despite these benefits, the project was not without its challenges. As the team were using the public elevator more frequently this meant further management was needed to ensure damage wasn’t caused to the lift during any equipment and fabrication manoeuvre.

Building accessibility was also one of the main hindrances due to the hall’s city centre location. For instance, near to where the hall is located on Broad Street, roadworks were taking place on a tramline extension which meant access was only available via the rear road.

As a result, the team had to ensure deliveries were pre-booked and that banksmen were available to transport vehicles to the access point because there was still public access in those areas.

Jones added: “Flexibility was paramount on a project of this size and throughout the project, the team made sure any issues raised were dealt with promptly.

“Most importantly, the client was thrilled with the finished scheme and because of the quality of the project, we have received a tender enquiry for the building next door with the same project manager.”

Project manager for the scheme, David Stanley of D.Stanley Consulting, said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Karl and his team who have delivered an exceptional scheme.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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