An express hoist ascent is just one of the highlights for the tour party braving a chill wind in east London.
The team behind Newfoundland residential tower has been welcoming a variety of visitors for Open Doors 2018, with the high-rise PRS scheme affording stunning views across the city.
But before our group of visitors can get as far as the 29th floor, Canary Wharf Contractors treats us to an overview of how the project is progressing.
Assistant project manager for structures Valentina Caoduro runs us through some of the startling statistics behind the scheme. “Some of the bearing piles are 60 m deep and the bearing caps will be taking 1,000 double-decker buses of load,” she says.
There’s an unusual amount of technical questioning, with one attendee explaining he’s a structural engineer who just wanted to see this project from the inside.
Other visitors include a film-maker, an urbane landscape photographer, and two local residents who marvel at the colossal project, but wonder about the long-term impact of Brexit on buildings such as these.
We’re told that the diagrid structure consists of beams so massive that they still cover four floors despite going up diagonally.
Another visitor is Nagarjun Konda, a student studying medicine at the University of Birmingham.
He is doing a BSE sandwich year in Anatomy at Kings College and has an academic interest in 3D printing, a technology he now realises is not just being picked up by the medical profession.
“Is the construction industry using this?” he asks. I explain that, while there is embryonic use in the sector, there is much to be done to realise its potential. A representative from Canary Wharf Contractors adds that architects are also using it to help visualise ideas.
“I very much enjoyed the introduction talk, how it’s planned and how it’s progressing; I can see that structural support is key,” Mr Konda says.
Talk over, we get into an express hoist that rises up the outside of the building faster than most permanent lifts.
And there we are, exposed to a bracing early spring breeze, but with the most incredible view of the Thames and the City to the west.
To the east, we have a perfect bird’s eye view of the rest of Canary Wharf’s ongoing developments.
Site visits don’t get much better than this.