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Working Detail: Great North Museum by Terry Farrell and Partners

[WORKING DEATAIL 02.07.09] Roof detail

Great North Museum − New permanent exhibition galleries at the Great North Museum have been completed within the original Hancock Museum, which housed natural history exhibits, with daylight as the main light source. Each gallery had a large, timber-framed laylight ceiling with glass panel inlays. Over time, it deterior­ated, allowing moisture through. No insulation and uncontrolled UV light proved disastrous for the exhibits.

Interventions by Farrells include: removal of external glass roof and replacement with insulated panels internally and metal sheet panel system over; a new roof detailed to replicate pattern of original with a finish chosen to read as glass; glass to laylights removed and new raised horizontal panel constructed in roof space, with new baffled lights reflecting light to galleries below; and a new ceiling panel supporting air plant, providing a balanced environment.

The reflected gallery light, with fluid light change sequencing from light to dark, reads as light from the sky above.

Russ Hamilton, design director, Terry Farrell and Partners

Start on site date April 2007
Completion date March 2009
Structural engineer WSP
Conservation architect Purves Ash
Gross internal floor area 10,574m²



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