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Lausanne - Switzerland

Olympic Museum

The museum and collection

A permanent exhibition now spans three floors and examines the influence of the Games and their spirit throughout the world. The collection features 100 years of memorabilia, including the first Olympic flag, the equipment of such illustrious athletes as three-time Alpine gold medallist Jean-Claude Killy, and costumes from the breath-taking opening ceremonies of the Beijing Games of 2008.

The assignment

The innovative range of display cases meant that new methods and techniques were required to be able to achieve some of the challenging design concepts. The opening mechanisms varied depending on case type and included: hinged door, pull and slide, hydraulic vertical piston lifted, and piston assisted hinged glass cubes.

All of the cases for this project were bespoke and all materials were Oddy tested. We tested the cases for leaks with ultrasonic testing methods. The cases had to maintain a high degree of air tightness for the effective conservation of the objects.

The lighting was either external or fibre optic spot lights, provided by Museum and Gallery Lighting.

All of the cases were bespoke and required some cutting edge designs, such as the medal case with curved glass that lifts up on hydraulic pistons. The medal case was horse shoe shaped. The exterior vertical glass is curved, and the entire case opens vertically with remote control. The angled mounts are used to present Olympic medals. The hydraulic lifting rams were hidden within the legs. The Pentagon case was unusual as it had 5 sides and the glass joints had to be mitred.

One case houses the original flag from the 1914 Games. It required a sloping back panel to present it and support the fabric. The cases either side were set into the walls, mimicking a bookcase. The fibre optic spots were dimmable.

The built in corner cases used a solid shelf that was supported only through the back panel. The solid shelf would have prevented light reaching the lower objects, but there were fibre optic lights in the underside of the shelves.

The project: challenges & result

The resulting finished museum is a stunning record of the achievements of the Olympic movement.

Horse shoe shaped showcasesPentagonal showcase

Olympic Museum


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