Seven interesting projects from seven great years!

Our jobs as fire engineers are always interesting, with a broad portfolio that covers everything from the world’s tallest Octagon-shaped tower to a research station in the Antarctic, to… a new music studio for an 80s pop band. Here we look at some of our most unique OFR projects.

Since 2016 we’ve been working with clients across the world to develop fire engineering strategies that will help them create exciting new places. So, as we celebrate seven years in business, here’s a run through of seven of our favourite schemes…

1 A big telescope in Chile

We’re supporting the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) for its new European Extremely Large Telescope, which is currently under construction in the Atacama Desert, Chile. 

Our work includes peer reviewing the contractor’s design proposals for the client and ensuring that proposals meet relevant design guidance recommendations and appropriate regulations. 

Antarctic research centre exterior

2 A South Pole Research Station

Since 2019, we’ve been supporting the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme, which includes the modernisation of the UK’s largest research hubs — the Rothera Research Station on Antarctica.

The OFR team is supporting client Ramboll in their capacity as technical advisor to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) by providing fire strategy support. Right now, our colleague Simeon is in Antarctica helping ensure the fire strategy is being correctly implemented during construction too.

3 The world’s biggest eight-sided building

Octagon is a 49-storey residential tower in Birmingham for which we are working alongside the project team to advise on tall building fire safety.

When complete the £110m Octagon will be the tallest octagonal-shaped residential building in the world.  

4 Reviving 80s novelty pop bands

We’re working on the restoration of Rutland Mills in Wakefield where a new waterside building comprising music and creative studios, offices and event spaces will open this spring.

Among the scheme’s new occupiers are 80s novelty pop band Jive Bunny, an act you may remember for such chart-topping hits such as That’s What I Like, Let’s Party and Swing the Mood.

5 A real-world home for Meta

Meta is a global social media brand doing some cool things in the virtual sphere. 

Back in the real world, we helped the client – which owns social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – deliver the fitout strategies for their impressive new offices at Canal Reach and Handyside in Kings Cross. 

6 Doing justice for fire strategies in the custodial sector 

We were recently appointed on a new series of projects with the Ministry of Justice, working on fire engineering strategies for prisons in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Leicestershire and Buckinghamshire.

We’re working with the MoJ on sustainable fire strategies for these unique settings, analysing ways to keep inmates safe should fires ever occur. 

Museum of London exterior aerial CGI

7 Fusing the old and the new

We are working on some impressive heritage buildings right now – from The National Gallery, the National Rail Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Museum of London and the National Portrait Gallery.

Each is rich in historic fabric, and our work means we work on designs that will allow the heritage to be preserved while adding contemporary new features that keep a building safe and in line with current regulations.  Our involvement varies widely, from early concept work for major redevelopments, to detailed reviews and checking of complex interventions in listed building fabric.

If you want to get your teeth into projects like these we’re also on the hunt for new colleagues to join our OFR team – from graduates to seasoned fire engineers. Find out more here.


Andy Passingham


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Chris Mayfield

Associate Director

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Richard Rankin

Design Director

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