The opening of The Box was the most significant cultural initiative in the UK in 2020. The galleries, collections and archives bring the world to Plymouth and vice versa. The launch of The Box was also the flagship project of the country’s Mayflower 400 commemorations.
The original City Museum and Art Gallery have been completely transformed and extended to combine the Edwardian building with the former City Library and St Luke’s church. The Box also features a striking elevated ‘archive in the sky’ with research and learning facilities, along with a major new public square for gigs, performance, theatre and events.
Meyvaert fabricated and installed 112 customised showcases. Every case was tailored to the artefacts inside, with specially designed opening systems, lighting and climatisation.
Some of the cases were extremely large and presented various challenges, such as the floor loading limits. Additionally, one showcase containing a display of fragile butterflies, needed an active climate control unit. The biggest challenge, however, was completing the project on time during the global pandemic.
Carefully considering the historical building’s context, we suggested multiple approaches to address floor loading challenges. We strengthened the floors in specific galleries based on the building’s structural capacity, secured cases to the wall in some areas, and employed spreader plates in other galleries.
Regarding the butterfly showcase, we had to ensure that the air circulation did not affect the butterflies. We solved this challenge by making a special housing to direct the air discreetly.
Meticulously planned coordination, smooth & communicative collaboration with the exhibit fabricator, and the devotion & experience of our team were the key to successfully overcoming all challenges.
Art & History Museum
112 customised showcases