Imperial War Museum, London

Type: Refurbishment
Value: £3.8m
Duration: 64 weeks

Awe-inspiring project for Imperial War Museum to mark WWI commemorations.

We were called in to refurbish the Imperial War Museum’s main atrium and create additional display space, in preparation for its First World War Centenary commemorations.

Internal fit-out works over several levels included 7,000 sq.m of specialist polished concrete floors, as well as carpet, vinyl and polished resin floor finishes.

Complete new ceilings and internal walls were installed, as well as new front and back of house toilets and staff accommodation. A café and associated kitchen were created for the public, and bespoke joinery items such as a reception desk, benching and seating installed.

A unique metal panel ceiling adds to the impact of the atrium; with the award winning three-dimensional geometric structure creating a fantastic ‘sky’ for the dramatic WW1 and WW2 aircrafts suspended beneath.

A number of the exhibits remained in place during the works, which required specialist protection and care; an example of which was the creation of a protective, double skin ply housing around a Hawker Harrier jump jet. Similar protection was needed for a Sherman tank.

The 15-month project, with an immovable deadline set for a royal opening ceremony, commenced whilst the museum was open to the public for the initial seven months, requiring very careful consideration around noise, dust, access, deliveries, material movement and public security. The latter part of the scheme was completed within a period of closure to the public but with museum staff still in occupation.

The sensitive refurbishment of the listed museum improves its layout, whilst creating a stunning galleried atrium to provide better access to exhibits, opening up the interior to daylight and views.