TGA Consulting Engineers LLP were commissioned by The Bowes Museum to design and supervise the Mechanical & Electrical Services and Lift Installations associated with the Access to Collections project.
The overall contract value was in the order of £3.6 M which included £1.5M for the M&E Services and Lift Installations.
The successful completion of this project has lead to a further commission to refurbish several more galleries and additional visitor amenities.
The project involved the refurbishment and remodelling of several areas of the building including Visitor Amenities, Entrance Hall and Reception, Education Suite, Silver and Precious Objects Gallery, Textile and Dress Gallery, Function Suite, Central Stores and Library, Archive and Study Centre.
In addition to the normal range of mechanical and electrical services, the project also included many elements of work which were specific to the protection and display of precious and delicate artefacts.
The main challenge to the design team was the provision of a modern public facility within the constraints of an historic building. The incorporation and routing of the new M&E services into a building of this type required careful consideration and detailed planning in order to conceal the services in the building fabric.
The appearance and finish of services which needed to be visible were selected to complement the architectural aesthetic of the respective areas.
The remodelling of the interior of the building also included the addition of several passenger/goods lifts to aid access around the building and to ensure compliance with DDA requirements. The new lifts which have greatly enhanced the accessibility to both public and staff have also provided a greater flexibility in use to many spaces which were not previously accessible to the public.