Xscape, Milton Keynes
In the vibrant and progressive modern city Milton Keynes, it is probably no surprise to find the UK’s largest indoor real ski slope, and Europe’s first purpose-built body flying tunnel, in the ground breaking Xscape building. Built in 2000, the Xscape indoor snow and leisure centre is a land-mark feature on the Buckinghamshire skyline. However, the architecture of this iconic structure proved problematic for the original smoke and fire system designers. So, eight years after being created, engineers were contracted to bring the system bang up to date.
They fitted huge static fire curtains around the perimeter of the building to address the gap immediately under the roof-line, replacing the original fire barriers that were fitted at launch. The market leading automatic smoke curtains were used to create a protected vent in the central atria around the rock-climbing wall, all linked up to the main fire and smoke control system.
A huge number of tailor-made, shaped static curtains were manufactured specifically to fit all the maintenance stairwells and corridors, ensuring a protected means of escape throughout the building.
Because of the complexity of the architecture, the contract was extraordinarily labour intensive. However, the engineers were commissioned to complete the work based on the company’s track record for innovation and resolving complex fire and smoke safety issues. The team ensured that existing problems in the Xscape building were overcome practically and economically – and within only two weeks of being awarded the contract.