The British Museum required a permanent gallery to display the Waddesdon Bequest, a collection of 300 objects left to the museum in 1898 by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild. They include medieval and Renaissance pieces, depicting a fascinating picture of the development of the art market in the late 19th century. The new gallery is located in the Middle Room, originally a reading room for the British library and one of the oldest parts of the building.
The project involved an initial strip–out of the gallery, including the removal of the existing floor. Significant structural alterations were carried out to facilitate the new gallery and exhibition.
As with all refurbishment works at the British Museum, the refurbishment – to include a complete new slate floor, full decoration package, new Mechanical & Electrical services and exhibition cases – was required to be completed to the highest standards, with exacting finishes to meet not only the client’s requirements but those of English heritage due to the building’s listed status.
120m2 of Welsh Slate flooring was installed over 6 weeks by WB Simpsons & Sons of Redhill, Surrey. The floor had special features including hydraulic manholes and temperate and climate controlled show cases.