The Manuscripts Saloon

Great Russell Street London

TGA Consulting Engineers LLP were employed by The British Museum to undertake the refurbishment of the existing Manuscripts Saloon to form a new gallery space. Architects Purcell Miller Tritton were employed as lead consultant for the project.

The overall project was valued at approximately £700,000 with the Mechanical and Electrical services works comprising £240,000, with TGA undertaking full design for the services.

The Manuscripts Saloon was formerly occupied by the British Library and takes the form of a crucifix shaped room with built in book presses around it’s periphery on two levels

It was intended that the room would be used as a flexible exhibition space enabling a rolling series of artefacts from the Museum’s collection to be exhibited.

TGA’s brief was to provide modern building engineering services without impacting on the space aesthetically and without causing damage to the historic fabric.

This was achieved by imaginative routing of services, making use of the gallery used to access the upper book presses to provide uplighting, emergency lighting, CCTV and fire detection from this level. Low level services were provided though the floor structure through careful coordination with spaces below.

The space is serviced from a riser installed to follow vertical routes made available by the removal of former air based heating services to adjacent galleries.

The result is a fully serviced gallery in which the building engineering services have very little visual impact and caused almost no damage to the fabric.