Brick Manufacturers: Wienerberger Limited, Forterra PLC, Ibstock Brick Limited

Architect: Jenkins Design Services

Brickwork Contractor: Lee Marley Brickwork Limited

About the project

E20 is the project name for the rebuild of the East Enders set. The original set was still a temporary timber and plaster structure and its continual degradation was preventing the switch over of filming to high definition digital production. The required goal was that no viewer would be able to tell the difference between the original and the new set (which could be viewed at an exceptionally high level of magnification by the viewer in digital).

Brick was integral to the project as the set was based on a predominantly Victorian neighbourhood with various post WW2 ‘infill’ buildings. With regards to the build itself there were two major components that made the build unique. Firstly was the delivery of the project en-masse, not as a conventional group of housing and shops but as a 21st Century film set with many of the buildings timber or steel frame with masonry (brick & stone) facades with functioning sets located behind them. The second and most unusual element was the fact that the facades had to be exact copies of the original set, down to imperfections in mortar beds, weathering, colouring, etc. This required an exceptional level of workmanship across our team, from the initial surveys of the set in conjunction with the client to the building, tinting and painting of the finished masonry. Each façade was broken down into grids creating a series of quality control hold points that were signed off at each phase –laying of the bricks & raking out, pointing, tinting/colouring. At each phase LMB, Wates and the BBC had to sign off before work progresses

In total 12 different brick types were used on the project, a mix of metric and imperial sizes, new and reclaimed. Three different blocks were used on the project with different aesthetic properties. Both lime and cementitious mortars were used across the project.