Architectural Glazing Options for Museums

What to consider when specifying architectural glazing for museums 

the newt story of gardening museum 4 metre sliding glass doors

When embarking on a museum renovation or building project, the glazing plays a key part in both the user experience as well as the performance and use of the space, it is imperative to specify Architectural Glazing for Museums in order to gain the correct result. 

These exhibition spaces are typically large public buildings with high traffic areas that change and evolve based on the space. Typically glazing elements can be seen in transitional spaces, roof glazing and specialist glazing around protected pieces of artwork. These encasements often need to have near invisible protection from dust, moisture, UV radiation, physical touching, accidental impact and intentional vandalism or theft. But the glazing to these buildings and spaces is also important at entry, on the exterior façade and throughout the space.  

Architectural Glazing at Geffrye Museums 

In the recent approval for the funding and renovation works at the Geffrye Museum the use of architectural glazing in museum designs is again a popular trend. The project will include changes to the internal layout of the museum to open out the existing spaces and increase the museum floor space by 75%. 

The lower ground floor will be opened to create larger gallery spaces and direct access out into the Geffrye’s gardens. Minimally framed glass doors will no doubt be used to these garden access areas, enticing visitors out into the period gardens.  

When looking at specifying glass for external faces of a museum of gallery project you should always consider the use of a specialist PVB interlayer within the glass make up. This specialist architectural glass interlayer will reduce the amount of UV radiation that can travel through glass by 99%, this will protect any internal surfaces, be that a painting, artefact or real wood floors, from UV fading. On the first floor the space will be reworked as a library, opened up to the roof structure with frameless glass partitions separating the spaces. 

specialist glass floors by iq projects for somerset house

Architectural Glazing at Somerset House Museum

When Somerset House was renovated they too used frameless glass panels to separate the spaces in an attempt to reduce travelling sound between the spaces. IQ designed and installed specialist frameless horizontal glass partitions in the balcony ovals between floors. This allowed light to continue traveling between all floors of the museum whilst reducing the noise. Fire rated glass may have to be use on some areas of the museum project depending on its location.


story of gardening museum structural glass walls

Architectural Glazing at the Story of Gardening Museum  

The Story of Gardening Museum specified IQ oversized glass facades to complement the surrounding elements and architecture. A frameless glass façade were installed from ceiling to floor to conceal descending heights and complement the height of the building as it cascades into the surrounding terrain. 

As the museum is set on a hilltop, the glazing and building structure must adapt to the natural landscape. As the building flows to the right, the external floor level rises and the structural glazing follows suit, creating a ledge between the glass and the internal floor. 

Utilising oversized glazing in a rural area ensures that the result is a crisp, clean aesthetic that does not detract from the natural surroundings. Glass is a popular choice in construction materials when forging a connection between the indoor and outdoor environments. The use of structural glazing guarantees this museum uninterrupted views and a massive amount of natural light, resulting in a bright open space that is truly reflective of the area it represents. 

top hung slim framed sliding doors for prestigious rowing museumArchitectural Glazing at The River and Rowing Museum  

IQ Projects were appointed to design, manufacture and install slim frame aluminium casement windows to Henley’s Rowing Museum. The project, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, transformed the museum inside and out with a contemporary design finish. 

A long elevation of slim frame aluminium casement windows was used on the top floor of the museum in Henley-on-Thames, a perfect option for smaller openings where archiminimal framing is paramount. The slim frame maximises the amount of glass allowing more light to enter the property. The thin aluminium frame doesn’t interrupt views and the configuration as a top hung it gives easy access to open the windows, especially with office desks below the windows the configuration was a crucial design element. 

Building Regulations and Architectural Glazing for Museums  bespoke glazing for somerset house

Approved Document K of UK building regulations stipulates that for large minimally framed glazing elevations in non-dwelling spaces, the glass must include manifestations to prevent injury from collision with the glass. Shops, showrooms, offices, factories, and public or other non-domestic buildings where transparent glazing makes up whole walls or doors, are considered critical locations. 

For glazing covering crucial installations such as artwork, specialist glazing can be applied in order to preserve and protect. In order to meet Arts Council guidelines for inclusion in the Government Indemnity Scheme, many glazing installations need upgraded security factors as well as specified factors like Solar control coatings to prevent discolouration and other environmental damages.  

For more information on specialist glazing for museums get in contact with IQ Projects.  

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Chloe Thompson

After completing her undergrad degree in Interior design, Chloe decided to join the architectural glazing industry and now works on social media strategies, writes content and manages the day to day marketing for IQ's commercial division.

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