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Purcell oversaw an extensive restoration project to clean and repair the museum’s glass roof and refresh its interiors. This involved removing, cleaning and resealing 8,500 diamond-shaped glass panels, four storeys above the museum’s exhibition quad.

The roof presented several challenges: improving the weather tightness of the original design, replacing broken glass with new material to match the original and maintaining the roof’s breathability, while barring access to masonry bees. While works were on site, the museum remained open and some of the larger exhibits, notably the dinosaur skeletons, had to be protected and left in place.

An offsite mock-up helped us to devise an efficient method for carrying out the works while protecting the exhibits. The museum interiors also required extensive professional cleaning and conservation. The ornate painted wrought iron and timber rafters were cleaned while the stone internal colonnade was laser cleaned. Discrete light fittings were installed and feature lights suspended from old gas lamps

AWARDS

Oxford Preservation Trust Award: Building Conservation 2014

Civic Trust AABC Conservation Award 2015

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