Natural History Museum: Treasures Gallery
On the northern mezzanine of the museum’s grand Hintze Hall in a 1,700 ft² gallery whose very fabric - terracotta brick walls, stained glass windows and granite sills - are all Grade I listed. We were appointed to transform this space into a self-contained gallery to house ‘Treasures’: a collection of priceless artefacts spanning 7.5bn years.
The main focus of our designs was to create a stable and well-ventilated environment within the gallery, which we achieved with a high-efficiency air source heat pump. Having conducted smoke tests early in the process, we were able to establish a ductwork installation procedure within the restricted ceiling void. Our findings also meant that the museum’s first permanent art installation – a wafer-thin slither from a 200-year-old oak specimen – could remain in situ throughout the works.
We worked closely with the exhibit’s designers, creating a discreet cabling system to supply the requisite LED plinth lighting and touch-screen ‘digital labels’. Cabling was fed into the gallery within copper sleeves, whose colour closely replicates the listed terracotta brickwork.
CLIENT: Natural History Museum
"The delivery of an air-handling unit which could maintain the environment in the gallery really was the make-or-break lynchpin of this project, and the expertise of the team at SVM enabled us to create a 100% environmentally controlled gallery in which we can display some of our most valuable exhibits."