WSP will host an event for the London Festival of Architecture on 14 June - sharing their work on some of London’s most iconic buildings through sketches, VR and animated models. Charlotte Cameron of WSP tells us more.

Our event aims to encourage visitors to develop a new appreciation of the part engineers play in shaping the built environment and hopefully inspire some future engineers. The team running the event is largely made up of IStructE members, from graduates to chartered engineers. 

We are showcasing the best of WSP engineering and the innovative problem-solving behind some of London’s most iconic structures, from acoustically isolated basement ballrooms and the restoration of 180-year-old masonry viaducts to London’s tallest skyscraper and a CLT sculpture at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 

Many of our projects have some form of VR attached to them, which visitors will be able to enjoy using their smartphone and a pair of VR goggles. Without giving too much away there is a unique opportunity to experience what it would be like to base jump off one of our skyscrapers - which skyscraper that is you’ll have to find out on the night!

We also have some incredible videos where the architectural finish of a building is stripped away to see the structure and services behind – revealing features such as large transfer structures and piles straddling the underground tunnels! We use these as tools in presentations and to aid explanation and visualisation of more complicated design aspects.

We’re taking part in the Festival because it’s a great way to give the public an insight into how engineering relates to architecture, and how it sometimes defines the aesthetic. Many of our team are very passionate about architecture and we strive on a daily basis to push the boundaries of engineering to help architects achieve their visions. 

I have been working as a structural engineer for three years and many of my friends still think that I am an architect! I think that speaks for itself how people without much knowledge of the built environment view engineering – hopefully by taking part in events like Open House Families and the London Festival of Architecture we can better inform people, and get them excited about the amazing engineering that shapes their city. 


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