Natural History Museum: Hintze Hall
Hintze Hall is the cathedral-like entrance to the Natural History Museum. The hall is an exhibit in itself, made up of unique, listed artefacts such as the hand-painted botanical tiles lining the roof, and the 1,300-year old sequoia tree cross section sitting high above the main entrance archway.
We were appointed to undertake the M&E base build and exhibition fit-out works required to reinstate the blue whale skeleton. In preparation for this redisplay we carried out a full thermal analysis of the hall to understand and improve the internal environmental conditions for both visitors and exhibits.
Using the latest CFD modelling techniques we were able to revive Alfred Waterhouse’s original ventilation plans for the iconic hall, designed in 1865. Having researched Waterhouse’s original plans we discovered many of his solutions were not finished properly during the museum’s construction, significantly compromising the ventilation in the hall: temperatures can reach 40ºC during summer months. By sympathetically restoring natural ventilation openings we achieved a 65% improvement in conditions, minimising thermal extremes and achieving a more stable 28ºC ideal.
CLIENT: Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum welcomes more than five million visitors a year and is a world-leading science research centre. The Museum was voted by the public as the Cultural Attraction of the Year at the London Lifestyle Awards 2016. Through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling the biggest challenges facing the world today. It helps enable food security, eradicate disease and manage resource scarcity. It is studying the diversity of life and the delicate balance of ecosystems to ensure the survival of our planet. nhm.ac.uk