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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE COVER STORY


SOUTHCO AND TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Scoring a win for accessibility


By incorporating the Southco LIFT-A-SYST 60 Counterbalance System


into the bar space in the members-only H Club at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, Manufacturing By Design (MBD) and the design team at F3 Architects have brought accessibility to areas where there traditionally hasn’t been a solution


I


n 2019, Manufacturing By Design (MBD), a leading British manufacturer


of hand-crafted bespoke furniture, cabinetry and architectural joinery, was commissioned by F3 Architects to fit-out the joinery within the Premium areas of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London which replaces the club’s previous stadium, White Hart Lane. This included the Chairman’s Suite, the Tunnel Club, the Players’ Lounge, the Supersuites and four signature restaurants, as well as the high-profile members-only area, the H Club. The club features a Chef’s Experience Counter which offers all- inclusive packaged experiences that give guests a bar-side view of world- renowned chefs at work before they enjoy the freshly prepared food. A key element of the design was


ensuring that the bar area and any events taking place there were fully accessible to wheelchair users. With the countertop weighing around 50 kilos, MBD had to find a solution which, as well as being safe for one member of staff to use on a repeated basis, would fit neatly within the


6 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020 | DESIGN SOLUTIONS


streamlined design of the entire bar. With a thickness of 50mm, a length of almost 6.5m and a width of 2.5m, the dimensions of the natural stone countertop added to the challenge. MBD explored a number of options, such as removing a section of the bar to make it fully wheelchair accessible. Another alternative would have been to


build an additional section into the countertop which would have to be lifted out and put back in place each time. As well as requiring two members of staff to move it, this option would have been challenging to use as well as compromising accessibility, safety and the visual impact of the high-profile bar. MBD would not have been able to use natural stone for the bartop in this case due to its weight, limiting the choice of materials. In addition, a lift-up flap that locks into a bracket on the wall or gas struts prone to failure over time would need to be used to hold up the bartop, creating a potential health and safety hazard. The LIFT-A-SYST 60 Counterbalance System from engineered


The LIFT-A-SYST 60 allows the countertop to be locked in place in both the up and down positions, and is activated easily by hand with a T-release handle from either the front or rear side of the counter


access hardware supplier Southco was the only option which met all the requirements of the project.


MEETING REQUIREMENTS MBD identified that the Southco LIFT-A-SYST 60 Counterbalance System would address all of the accessibility and aesthetics requirements for the H Club bar. Counterbalance Systems are engineered specifically for controlling the weight of heavy countertops and covers, allowing them to be lifted and positioned with ease. Southco’s LIFT-A-SYST 60 is an


off-the-shelf solution that combines assisted lifting force and positional stability through the full range of motion for opening and closing to make bars and other public spaces more accessible. The LIFT-A-SYST 60 provided a complete solution for the H Club by allowing the bar to be moved smoothly and effortlessly into a lowered position to make the bar accessible for wheelchair users, while matching its luxe style by remaining flush with the surrounding countertop


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