San Diego Natural History Museum hires Arup for redevelopment

09 September 2016

The San Diego Natural History Museum has called in Arup, in collaboration with Place Architecture, to redevelop part of a wing of the Museum that houses the Research Library, turning back-of-house space to a new rotating exhibition space.

In 1874, the San Diego Society of Natural History was founded, whose mission is to provide people with insight into the earth’s natural history. In 1912, the society opened their first location to the public, after which, in 1917, it bought a vacant Balboa Park building, where it moved its growing collection of natural curiosities. In 1933, the society took residence in the building in which it remains to this day.

In the intervening time, the building has undergone a number of renovations. In 1943, it was commandeered by the US Navy, transforming it into an infectious diseases ward – the renovation included the addition of a lift and a nurses station between floors, following the end of WW2, which preceded more renovations that were made to return the building to a place for natural history. In 1974, the San Diego Natural History Museum was accredited as a museum. The most major renovation project to date took placed in 2001, when the building’s capacity was more than doubled from 6,000 m2 to 14,000 m2. Today, the museum houses 7.5 million specimens and was visited by almost 450,000 people last year.

San Diego Natural History Museum hires Arup for small redevelopment

The San Diego Natural History Museum has decided to further expand its space for rotating collections through the development of additional space from a wing of the building. The new space, or around 445 m2, will see the addition of two new mezzanines, which are to serve as reading rooms, as the new ground space which is “defined by two 40ft architecturally exposed steel truss railings. The trusses offer a synthesis of form and function, creating a column-free space between existing building columns while also serving as railings and affording the necessary floor height clearances below.”

The new area is being developed by engineering and consultancy firm Arup in collaboration with Place Architecture. The firm provides a range of structural engineering and consultancy work for the redevelopment, which has, according to a spokesperson for the firm, included “The trusses, which create a dynamic aesthetic for the otherwise serene backdrop of the library, were developed using a series of parametrically driven algorithms assessing bar diameter, slope, spacing, and density.”


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Common People Festival falls into administration

04 February 2019

Corporate rescue and restructuring consultancy Begbies Traynor has been appointed administrator for the Common People Festival. The company behind music events in Oxford and Southampton owes creditors more than £500,000, and it is unclear whether it will be able to clear these debts during the liquidation process.

With consumer power having been severely impacted by stagnant wages and increasing household debt, many aspects of the UK leisure industry have been impacted in recent times. Even the music festival scene, which attracts roughly 14 million visitors to the UK every year, has taken a hit.

Last year, one of the 10 largest music festivals in the UK folded, following an expensive relocation to the Lulworth Estate in Dorset. The group behind Bestival collapsed into administration in September 2018, just months after the latest instalment of the event – which was headlined by the performers Chaka Khan, Grace Jones and Thundercat. Now, another festival group, which shares Bestival’s founder, has followed suit.Common People Festival falls into administration

Organised by DJ Rob da Bank, Common People Festival’s line-up in 2018 featured The Jacksons, James, Ride, Boney M, and Lily Allen. However, the company owes £543,546, according to a statement posted with Companies House, and has been unable to continue in its current form. As a result, consulting firm Begbies Traynor has been appointed to liquidate the company.

Talking to local paper the Daily Echo, Julie Palmer of Begbies Traynor stated it is unclear as to whether the companies will be able to clear the debts. She explained that "they have got some potential" to pay off the debts before adding "if there is a recovery it won't be a particularly large recovery."

There will be no edition of the event this year, meanwhile, which will likely impact the economies of Southampton and Oxford. A spokesman from Begbies Traynor, said, “Common People (Oxford) and Common People Festival went into liquidation and the business and its assets were not bought by any other company. As a result there will be no Common People festival in 2019.”