DIVA, the Antwerp museum for diamonds, jewellery and silver, presents the exhibition The Jeweller’s Art: revolutionary jewellery from the 1960s and 70s. The jewellery on show derives from an important private collection, put together over the years by Kimberly Klosterman from Cincinnati in the United States. More than a hundred pieces of jewellery represent the work of international and independent jewellery designers and jewellery houses.
Meyvaert refurbished 27 existing inset wall cases that were made by Meyvaert in 2006. The museum wanted to reuse these cases for temporary exhibitions. The original design for the cases was to be permanently set into a load bearing wall with an opening for the case front, the cases are very heavy and originally the long-term flexibility of the exhibition space was less of a consideration. The challenge was to maintain the high level of security whilst making the showcases more flexible for use in the environment of temporary and changing exhibitions. Meyvaert designed and created a system of supporting structures. By adding wheels underneath this framework, the cases are easier to reposition and store when temporary exhibitions change. In addition to this the museum also wanted to have the flexibility to adjust the height of the showcases. Therefore, we equipped the frame structures with a vertical hydraulic lifting mechanism to change the height of the cases. Some smaller cases needed ballast weight in the bottom structure to maintain a low centre of gravity, important when moving the cases. The showcases have a combination of wheels and adjustable feet, that allows easy movement when changing exhibitions, and when in position adjustable feet are lowered to take the weight of the case, ensuring that they are level, and they raise the wheels away from the floor.
The museum now has more flexibility with these amendments, the cases are easier to move/store, it is easier to change the exhibition layout and presentation. The cases weigh up to 700 kg and now when designing an exhibition where the cases are set within a wall, the museum team no longer have to create a load bearing structure to support the cases. This project is a great example of Meyvaert’s ability to deliver sustainable products: a long lifespan and the possibility to upgrade and update the case features.
Diva, home of diamonds
Pictures: Frederik Beyens