Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Levolux protects treasures in Norwich

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, one of the city’s most prominent landmarks, maintains optimum conditions to exhibit important works of fine art, with the help of an external Solar Shading solution, courtesy of Levolux.

The Grade I Listed Building, which dates from the 11th century, was converted into a museum in 1895 and has since benefited from numerous refurbishments and fit-outs. This included the addition of solar control at high level across glazed rooflights.
Working in collaboration with Purcell Miller Tritton Architects, Levolux developed a custom Solar Shading solution comprising its motorised external Skyvane 675 system, to provide effective light control for two large galleries.

In all, 17 separate Skyvane sections, with sizes up to 4.8m wide by 1.7m deep, were employed externally above the two galleries. The 675 system was chosen for the project as it incorporates interlocking extruded aluminium louvres that are designed to provide a high level of dim-out in addition to light control. This was essential since, in the gallery environment, critical control of lux levels and ultraviolet is required to avoid damage to the exhibits.
The system has lux sensors strategically placed within the gallery areas which are linked to a Levolux control system that automatically moves the slats so the light entering the galleries is precisely regulated. A manual override allows the slats to be set to any required position, which means that they may be closed at night or regulated to create the right ambience for public events.

An added consideration was the age of the roof lights and their relatively fragile structure. To ensure structural integrity was not compromised, Levolux designed custom brackets. Internally the system is screened by feature panels of stained glass beneath the roof lights at ceiling level.
The Skyvane system is designed to work effectively, even when exposed to adverse weather such as rain, wind or snow. As a result, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery continues to preserve its collection of fine works of art and historic artefacts for the enjoyment of the public throughout the year and for many years to come.

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