Architects chose a bespoke Howe Green access cover solution for The Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery at The World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre (WCEC), which opened earlier this year with an exhibition devoted to the Vikings (supported by BP).
The WCEC designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) and constructed by Mace is one of the largest redevelopment projects in the British Museum’s 260 year history. Located in the north-west corner of the Museum’s Bloomsbury estate, the £135 million Centre provides a new public exhibitions gallery, state-of-the-art laboratories and studios, world class stores for the collection, as well as facilities to support the Museum’s extensive UK and international loan programme.
RSHP needed a reliable access cover solution for the interior scheme to provide a series of service points at regular intervals throughout the gallery’s 1,100sqm floor area. With aesthetics and performance of equal importance, Howe Green manufactured a circular access cover in 316-grade stainless steel to provide a stylishly discreet solution capable of withstanding a 40kn load. Each box section had built-in cable access and voice/data plug-in points and slotted steel lids were made for when in use. The access covers also accepted coloured polished concrete inserts made to match the surrounding Ed Lazenby floor and provide an uninterrupted floor finish when required.
The WCEC building consists of five pavilions (one of which is submerged below the ground) and the design is sensitive to the British Museum’s existing architecture, connecting to the historic building whilst maintaining its own identity.
Following in the fierce footsteps of the Vikings will be Ming – an exhibition exploring a golden age in China’s history. Ming opens on September 18th.
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