The British Museum Nebaumun Gallery

TGA Consulting Engineers LLP were employed by the British Museum to undertake the refurbishment of the existing public gallery, with Robert Warren Chartered Architects employed as lead consultant for the project.

The overall project was valued at approximately £1.5million with the Mechanical and Electrical services works comprising £500,000, with TGA undertaking full design for the services.

The new gallery houses eleven large fragments of wall paintings recovered by the British Museum in the 1820’s from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun, an accountant in the Temple of Amun at Karnak who died circa 1350BC. It is intended to display the paintings in an “exploded cave” environment alluding to, now lost, tomb chapel in which they were originally discovered. The paintings have been subject to an extensive conservation process, the largest in the Museum’s history, and are particularly sensitive to light. The new lighting installation has thus been designed so as to enable individual control of all luminaires via a DALI dimming system and automatic lighting controls incorporating centrally timed switching and daylight compensation.

TGA worked closely with the British Museum’s Principal Designer to ensure that the contrast ratios between case lighting and gallery lighting were perfectly balanced to display the paintings without causing damage. The gallery incorporates full automatic fire detection, voice alarms, emergency lighting, CCTV, power, data and security systems, all completely concealed from view through careful detailed design. A new service riser was inserted from basement level, four floors below, to service this gallery and those adjacent. New underfloor heating systems were installed in the Nebamun Gallery along with natural ventilation systems controlled via the Museum’s BMS