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Farewell to Hull’s ‘Blade’

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Most of you local Hull folk and of course, not so local folk, who have recently ventured into the city centre will have witnessed the magnificent art installation that was the ‘Blade’, conceived by artist Nayan Kulkarni. At 75 metres long, it was fairly hard to miss the behemoth structure.

However if you didn’t get a chance to see the installation, you are now out of luck, as it was extracted from Queen Victoria Square over the weekend. The blade was the first of many art installations to come from the ‘Look Up’ art series, co-curated by Hazel Colquhoun and Andrew Knight, so as it reached its third month in the city centre, it was time for the giant turbine blade to go back from whence it came.

It has been without doubt, a hugely positive attribute to the city over the past three months and a true expression of recognition to the future of Hull and its development of renewable energy. The Blade project represents new beginnings for Hull, with a patriotic undertone for the hardworking men and women involved in the project that were born and bred, working all their lives, in Hull.  

At the Strata Group we are extremely proud to be able to say we were involved in this project, a fantastic feat of design and engineering that has brought tourists to our little nook along the North Sea. It has promoted our city’s capabilities, whilst showcasing the growth of our industry to the rest of the country.

Our very own Pearlgreen Engineering team fabricated the support structures for Blade and worked on site during the arrival and installation back in January. They worked alongside other local companies and the Hull 2017 team, on the challenging project to set the giant art piece in place.

Pearlgreen Engineering were also on-site for the removal of the Blade during the early hours of Monday morning, a mammoth task which took 8 Pearlgreen engineers and joiners, 1 lifting company, 3 cranes, 3 HIAB lorries and 12 hours to complete. A full video of the Blade extraction will be available to view soon.

As sad as we are to say goodbye to Blade, we can’t wait for the next exciting project the 2017 team have in store for our city.


#StrataOnCulture

P.s. Keep an eye out for the Weeping Window #PoppiesTour

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Hull firm re-imagines local NHS hospital offices to promote productivity and wellbeing.

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The Strata Group, a local collaborative of engineering, design and fit out brands
have recently renovated two redundant medical wards into office blocks for the
NHS, Castle Hill site.

Strata were taken on as ‘artisan contractors’ for the project, to repurpose two
former wards into brand new office spaces in an innovative way that creates
collaborative and agile working environments. Following a strategic estates
review of the Castle Hill site, the wards were deemed surplus to requirements
and thereafter assessed as being suitable for conversion into new office suites.
The scale and pace of the project has been significant and marks the inaugural
design-led project to transform and rationalise the hospital’s office
accommodation.

The Strata Group’s successful tender proposal, which was led by the group’s
interior fit out firm, Ark Interiors, was chosen due to its stand out ideas, within a
tight financial envelope, and attention to detail. Strata Group’s track record of
rapid solutions further supported the green light being given for the 16 week
long renovation programme to commence. The new office suites include
improved multi-functional layout, with open spaces and a selection of structured
seating arrangements. The interior decoration promotes an ‘Outside-in” theme,
including nature themed furniture and wall art. Easy access to the outside
provides a useful terraced area for relaxation/work.

Chairman of the Strata Group, Graham Fisher said “we’re thrilled to have been
tasked with this project and to have been given the opportunity to explore the
project from a design led approach. During the design phase, our consideration
was always with the staff that were going to occupy the new suites and their
working environment. Staff that work in a healthy, open and collaborative
environment are more productive and positive towards their roles and in turn,
the people that they work with, including colleagues and patients.”

The new build will house approximately 100 members of staff per suite,
transferred from a number of different NHS departments/locations into one
working space. This is a step change effort to improve productivity and to
deliver a better service to the patients. Having office staff working together as
one unit, rather than working across various office spaces at both the Castle Hill
and Hull Royal Infirmary sites. These changes will also improve staff wellbeing
and efficiency.

Jim Crawley (Design Brief Author) is delighted with Strata’s affordable realisation
of the hospital team’s vision: “Staff will be left in no doubt that they are valued,
as they begin to benefit from the experience of being nurtured by a vibrant, well
thought out collaborative working environment. In such contemporary,
activity-based, intelligent spaces they will be not only be more productive, but
happier too.”

Finishing touches are currently being made to the new site, the offices are
expected to be fully functioning by the end of January 2017. You can find out
more about The Strata Group and their work at: www.strataholdings.co.uk or by
searching for “Strata Speak” on Facebook and Twitter.

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Sovereign Signs, introduce interactive digital signage to their services.

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Sovereign Signs, a brand within The Strata Group have installed their first interactive, digital signage at Broad Street Mall, located in the heart of Reading. Sovereign Signs manufactured the signs and worked alongside Inurface media to develop the platform.

Using Bauer 42-inch, dual touch monitor displays with a bezel-free design, the totem signage is well suited to retail, self-service, gaming and entertainment applications. The display is LED back lit, which ensures crisp imagery to display advertising and includes interactive wayfinding.

This highlights the user’s current whereabouts and provides a search system to find a store within the centre and directions to get there. Several signs have been fitted throughout the centre with a colour coding system for each area within the mall, allowing people to find their way with minimal intervention from members of staff.

The new development of digital signage at Sovereign Signs allows the businesses they work with to communicate a wide range of information to customers and provides a solution for quick and easy information updates with 24/7 operation and real-time dynamic changes. Digital signage is a flexible, cost effective and sophisticated method for businesses to advertise and incorporate visual identity into their signage and distribute information.

This emerging technology being adopted at Sovereign Signs is now leading the way for exciting opportunities to work with new and current clients on their signage systems, to enable revenue generation for their business and improve consumer experience.

If you think digital signage could benefit your space talk to our team:

Email: talktous@sovsigns.co.uk

Tel: 01482 618234  

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Hull, UK City of Culture 2017 is coming. Are you ready?

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2017 is fast approaching and the whole city is preparing for UK City of Culture to begin. Amongst all the wonderful things heading our way, we are excited to announce that the Hull 2017 Visitor Welcome and Information Point, also known as the POD, is up and running inside the Hull Paragon Interchange.

This new addition to the station will be a key asset during next year’s celebrations, as it will be the first point of contact for people travelling into the city. The City of Culture staff at the POD and their wonderful volunteers, will guide people around the city and help publicise the events and attractions for Hull 2017. Originally the unit was built as a ‘grab and go’ food kiosk, which has sat empty for years. The Strata Group were very pleased to be part of its transformation, collaborating with the Hull 2017 team to build an interactive and informative tool for the city.

 As an Official Supplier to Hull 2017, we have been very happy to work alongside the City of Culture team, VHEY and First Group to build the brightly coloured POD. Our involvement in the project was lead by Sovereign Signs, with design support from Ark Interiors and practical assistance from Officio Furniture and Stiga Electrical who worked together to provide research tables, a large TV screen displaying Hull 2017 media and a ticket machine to book those all important Hull 2017 event tickets.

Our very own pioneer volunteer, Chris Head will be putting in some shifts at the pod throughout December, before ‘In With a Bang’ and ‘Made in Hull’ officially kick off the year, so make sure you pop in and say hello.

 

 

 

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Keeping up the Tradition: Strata off to Wembley Again!

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As any proud Hull citizen will know, there are certain question that divide our city, but none more than “FC or KR?”. Our two successful rugby league teams, Hull FC in the West of the city and Hull KR to the East, have divided Hull communities for years. As a team made up of Hull locals plus a few others, the Strata family are no exceptions to this rule and bragging rights remain important.

Company founders Graham Fisher and Tony Shultz are divided on the subject with Graham flying the Black and White banner of FC and Tony waving the Red and White flag of Hull KR.

With excitement building in the city for Hull FC’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final match at Wembley this weekend, which will see around 40,000 diehard fans take a 4 hour trip South to support their team against Warrington Wolves, we take a quick look at the how the passion for sport in our city has brings people together.

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The 40,000 strong group heading to Wembley will include long standing Strata and Sovereign Signs employee Gareth Naylor, or ‘Jambo’ as he is more commonly known in the workplace, along with his son Jay. The pair are amongst many others that have followed the proud tradition of passing down their love for their team to their younger family members.  Graham recalls taking his sons to watch FC last time they played at Wembley whilst Tony and his family continue to travel extensively in support of KR. Although our city and our workforces may not always agree on the team, one thing that remains constant is the devotion and passion for the great sports teams that call Hull home.

Let’s hope Jambo and Jay both bring FC luck, return victorious and keep Hull’s rugby traditions alive for generations to come.

We would love to hear stories of how others have shown their support for Hull FC in Wembley this weekend, share your posts and images with us by using the hashtag #StrataAtWembley

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The Strata Group are proud to be a Hull 2017 partner.

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A big, bold and bright banner, welcoming visitors and commuters into the city of Hull, marks the beginning of the partnership between Hull 2017 and The Strata Group. Located on the rear of their Hawthorn Avenue premises, the banner is visible from the main train routes into Hull and welcomes all passengers into the city. As a Hull based company the group are looking forward to working closely with Hull 2017 as a Supply Partner over the next year.

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The Strata Group was established in Hull over 25 years ago and is made up of a local workforce. This makes the partner status hugely important to the group as it is a chance to represent the city across Hull 2017.

Tony Schultz, Group Chairman at The Strata Group, said: “As born and bred Hull locals, we are very proud to be able to work alongside the Hull 2017 team on some of the exciting projects planned for the City of Culture year. We have, and always will, have a keen interest in the betterment of our home, Hull, and its surrounding areas. Our Hull staff are totally committed to our investment in 2017 and really proud to be able to play their own part”

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The partnership between The Strata Group and Hull 2017 will see the group helping to fabricate, engineer, dress and kit out key points across the city. The group are no stranger to these sorts of projects, having recently created the floating Hull 2017 logo installation in Queens Gardens in Hull City Centre. They also helped engineer and install 54 giant moths on buildings across Hull and the East Riding as part of the Amy Johnson Festival’s A Moth For Amy trail. Details of specific projects The Strata Group will be involved in during Hull 2017 will be confirmed over the coming months.

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The Strata Group install 54 giant moth sculptures across Hull and The East Riding for public art project “A Moth for Amy”.

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The 1st of July officially marked the launch of “A Moth for Amy”, a flagship event of the Amy Johnson festival. Official engineering partners The Strata Group, a Hull based design, manufacturing and engineering group, worked alongside Amy Johnson festival Director, Rick Welton, Project Manager, Clare Huby and artist Saffron Waghorn over the past months to help execute the ambitious project.

A Moth for Amy is a mass engagement, public art project that has seen 59 moth sculptures go up in Hull, the East Riding and beyond. The project was inspired by Hull’s intrepid female pilot and engineer Amy Johnson and her De Havilland Gypsy moth biplane, also known as Jason.

In the months leading up to the launch The Strata Groups, Pearlgreen Engineering designed a bespoke bracketing system that could be incorporated within the moth castings and used to fit the giant moth sculptures onto the vast selection of chosen venues. It took the four teams of 2 installers from Ark Interiors and Sovereign Signs over 100 hours of work to prepare, mount and test 54 of the 59 installations. The additional four moths were despatched to Croydon Airport, Herne Bay, The Science Museum, London and Sheffield University being locations which hold either special relevance to Amy’s life or archive.

From the first install the moths attracted a lot of attention from the public. Rob Netherton Installer from Sovereign Signs said “ The first moth to go up was, Air Mail moth, sponsored by Rollits solicitors, we installed it to the front of their building, Citadel House. It attracted attention straight away and this carried on throughout the three days of installation work. It was a great project to be involved in as the reaction from the public was so immediately positive. I’m glad me and the rest of the team could be a part of it. ”

A Moth for Amy Project Manager, Clare Huby said ““A huge amount of planning and preparation has gone into a Moth for Amy and the team are incredibly excited to see their months of hard work finally come together. From start to finish the generosity of time and the quality of workmanship from Graham, Tony, Ian and their teams at Strata has been exceptional. We’ve already seen a large number of ‘moth hunters’ determined to see every moth on the trail.”

As well as installing all of the moths The Strata Group also designed a moth of their own. The ‘Strata Moth’ was designed by chairman of the Strata Group, Graham Fisher, further developed by Ark designer Michael Spencer, and painted by local graffiti artist ::Si2::. The moth now sits proudly outside Strata House and is one of three months down Hawthorne Avenue.

You can find out more about the moths by visiting the Amy Johnson festival website or following The Strata Group on Facebook and Twitter.

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Sovereign signs, introduce software-to-hardware technology into their signage.

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Sovereign signs, a brand within the strata group, have pushed forward a new innovative signage solution. The new signage was introduced during a commission from The People’s Republic, a new retro pub located within Hull’s Newland Avenue. The client requested signage that represented the brand and followed the unique theme of the venue.

The team at Sovereign Signs took to searching outside of the signage industry for inspiration, their team eventually decided to adopt the micro-board technology, which is becoming increasingly popular in the development community. They agreed upon plans to create a branded, external projecting sign which, using computer logic from the micro-board, would flicker in an Alfred Hitchcock-esque light show. A perfect fit for the bars retro grade styling.

For this unorthodox signage a specialist computer unit had to be manufactured. Sovereign Signs collaborated with laser technician, Andrew Sutton, who was chosen because of his success in his field. Andrew made use of PIC microcontrollers ( Programmable Interface Controllers) and a purpose coded software ruleset to create the flickering effect. PIC microcontrollers are electronic circuits that can be programmed to carry out a vast range of tasks and are a popular choice in the electronics industry.     

Project manager Oliver Hookem said, “Working alongside Andrew on this project opened my eyes as to the possibilities that PIC micro’s can bring to signage, I can see Sovereign Signs using a similar methodology again on future endeavours as we continue to strive for new and exciting ways to offer clients that ‘little bit extra’ in signage solutions.”

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Sales and Marketing Manager, Chris Head, wants to make a difference by volunteering for Hull 2017.

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In 2017, Hull will celebrate being named City of Culture, and our very own Sales and Marketing Manager, Chris Head, will be doing his part by getting involved as a Pioneer Volunteer, working through all  four “seasons” of events throughout 2017.

As part of its year round programme, the City of Culture team have split the mammoth amount of events into four seasons; Made in Hull, Roots and Routes, Freedom and Tell the world. The seasons have been created to each reflect something very different about the unique and fiercely independent city that is Hull.

Originally from Harrogate, Chris explains how he signed up to the programme to give back to the city. “After nearly 25 years of living here and with Hull having adopted me, employed me and provided me with so many great opportunities and experiences, I feel it’s only right to offer my help to this fantastic and supportive city.” he said.

The volunteering programme involves helping and supporting the general public, prospective cultural participants and the wider communities learn more about Hull 2017, as well as giving advice on how they can get involved and encouraging everyone to participate. “So far we’ve only just begun our briefing and training sessions.” he said. “However, we’ll all be out and about over the next few weeks at a number of roadshows #Hull2017Roadshow and pop-in events across Hull & East Yorkshire.” He added “Look out for The Cube and The Aspiration Tree.” possibly hinting at exciting things to see and to come from the Hull 2017 team.

Chris believes, with his creative knowledge of sales and marketing, he can make a difference through his volunteering. “I want to lean on my own knowledge and personal experience wherever I can to help others. If I can pass on just a little of what I think makes Hull and its culture such a unique place, then that will be success for me.”

The Strata Group have already been involved with the engineering creation of the Hull 2017 logo in Queens Gardens pond and we are excited to work with the 2017 team on further projects to make the year a great success for all.

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Ark Interiors create stylish new office for legal firm.

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When Rollits LLP, a leading legal firm founded in Hull in 1841, undertook a major relocation and rebranding exercise, Ark interiors helped the company better align itself with the fullest requirements of a 21st-century law firm and the needs of its staff and clients.

The new building’s interior design and layout were tackled with great sensitivity, in keeping with Rollits requirements. Ark Interiors, a part of The Strata Group, and RFD Interior Architects made sure that Rollits need for confidentiality within client areas as well as “quiet thinking space” for lawyers was taken into account when redesigning their new offices. Acoustic rated double glazed partitions were used to punctuate the buildings open plan design accommodating the personal requirements of clients and staff alike. Vinyl manifestations were then fitted to the frameless glazing systems to restrict view and create additional privacy.

The new, open-plan work environment is vastly more contemporary than Rollits previous office structure. The hand-picked materials and products were chosen to create a stylish and functional space. Off Line, On Line Interface carpets, were introduced on each of the 3 floors using a plank form to creating transitions between neutrals and brights, hard and soft lines to give a vastly more expressive feel.

Karndean Palio Clic flooring was used throughout and was chosen for its durability and click locking system, which allows for easy replacement. Desso grain carpet tiles complement other floor surfaces and help to designate working areas. Bespoke acoustic wall panels were fitted throughout the building adding colour and help to soak up noise transfer.

Each floor within the four story building was designed differently, in order to reflect the culture and personality of its designated team and to create a changing dynamic while travelling through the vast building. Internal walls are covered in a range of eye-catching Tektura wallpapers which add vibrancy and texture whilst the paint pallet is tonal and complementary. State of the art kitchen and break-out areas were designed and installed, which included large workbench style table tops in the main canteen area, creating a relaxing area for staff to take their lunch break.

Rebecca Biggart of Ark Interiors said of the project “Working with a client based team on all aspects of the proposed design really helped to create a great looking and functional workspace. Understanding and catering to a client’s needs, whilst maintaining a freedom to use the latest materials is always a pleasure and creates outstanding fit-out results”.