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FIRST LOOK

MICA reintroduces natural light in retrofit of Horniman Museum

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New ceiling light foils and reflectors are designed to safeguard the displays in the south London museum 

MICA Architects has undertaken a £1 million refurbishment the Grade II*-listed South Hall Gallery, while Ralph Appelbaum Associates has designed the exhibition spaces.

A fundamental element of the project was reintroducing natural light into the listed buildings. MICA also carried out improvements to the museum’s infrastructure, including new environmental controls and a gallery opening to improve connection and orientation throughout.

World gallery at the horniman museum and gardens (2)

World gallery at the horniman museum and gardens (2)

Architect’s view

The Horniman project is a careful and judicious use of a £1 million budget to improve visitor flow, restore 850m² of space, improve systems and energy use, and importantly to reintroduce daylight to the museum’s oldest gallery. The new rooflight and foil provides the new ‘World Gallery’ with a daylit ‘sky’ to the space. The effect is a bright environment with the reality being low light at display level, crucial for the conservation of artefacts.

Stuart Cade, director, MICA Architects

Aj horniman axonometric annotated copy

Aj horniman axonometric annotated copy

Project data

Start on site December 2016
Completion October 2017 (base build); June 2018 (exhibition fit out)
Gross internal floor area 850m²
Form of contract Intermediate Building Contract with contractor’s design (ICD) / traditional procurement
Construction cost £1 million
Architect MICA Architects
Exhibition designer Ralph Appelbaum Associates (subsequent phase) 
Client Horniman Museum
Structural engineer eHRW
M&E consultant Mott MacDonald
QS Fraser Randall
Lighting consultant DHA Designs
Project manager Fraser Randall
CDM coordinator MICA Architects
Approved building inspector MLM Group
Main contractor CBRE
CAD software used Microstation, Autodesk 3ds Max, SketchUp

Horniman clocktower  sophiaspring

Horniman clocktower sophiaspring

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