Whilst pride is always taken in any project, there’s always that extra sense of honour present when construction work involves an iconic or well known building. A recently announced project will see work be required on several well known buildings – as point of fact an entire square of them. After more than 30 years, the BBC has decided to commission the construction of “real” buildings for the set of the popular soap opera series EastEnders.
The exterior sets for the show have, since 1985, always been made from – and fixed up with – plywood. In showing just how difficult it is to predict every possible potential long term problem with construction work, the main reason for a change now is high definition television. The quality of broadcasts now compared to 1985 means that the sets can look fake. Rather than fight against it, the BBC have decided to use this as an opportunity to introduce yet more realism into the way the fictional life and times of Walford are presented.
Creating a real version of Albert Square is going to be a very high profile contract. It’s also one that shall come with great pressure, with the end result arguably being under more scrutiny than any other project in the UK. The management and observance of competencies of temporary works will in particular need to establish the foundations for exact replicas of the buildings fans know. The support systems will also be necessary throughout the construction work to maximise safety.
Accuracy is very important when it comes to creating real buildings to replace the plywood ones on film and TV sets. With many millions watching every episode of EastEnders, you can be sure that many of the eagle-eyed ones will note any unexplained changed or deviation from the originals.
For many people the news that a permanent set is to be constructed for EastEnders will be quite a relief. Rumours and reports have spread that suggested the show was in danger of being cancelled. The investment in construction work of this size is a clear sign that this shall not be the case. For companies within the building and construction sector, it’s a rare if not unique opportunity to bring to life one of the most well known fictional places loved by television viewers across the nation.
At Denon Construction we have a great understanding of temporary works and the competencies they need to meet. We have worked on countless projects and ensured stability is assured throughout building, alteration and demolition work.