The British Museum case study explains how Coopers fire curtains protect the new Centre using 113 deployable, bespoke engineered fire curtains.
what was the client looking for?
The British Museum received a grant of £10m from the Heritage Lottery Fund which was used to enable the museum to expand its innovative outreach and in December 2009 received planning approval for a new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is one of the world’s leading architectural practices and were contracted to redevelop the north-west corner of the British Museum site and design a solution to provide a flexible series of spaces which support the wide range of activities undertaken by the British Museum.
The new Centre spans over 10 floors housing state-of-the-art laboratories and studios for the conservation, preservation and research of the collection, a new gallery for special exhibitions, world-class stores for the study collection as well as facilities to support the Museum’s extensive national and international loans programme.
In order to protect the new laboratories and the collection of important pieces stored in the museum a series of deployable fire curtains were designed into the building to not only protect the collection but also to prevent the spread of fire and smoke and allow the safe evacuation of the centre for the occupants in the event of a fire.
HOW DID WE HELP?
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have worked with Coopers on The Leadenhall Building, London (otherwise known at the ‘Cheesegrater’) and delivered solutions to a number of applications on high profile contracts around the world.
Round headboxes were engineered specifically for The British Museum as a request from the architects. The headboxes of the fire curtains were going to be seen by the occupants so Coopers engineered a round headbox that looked more in keeping with the design of the building.
Compartmentation, Protected Means of Escape and Boundary Protection were all required as part of the fire safety solutions and therefore Coopers FireMaster fire curtains and Coopers FireMaster Plus2 fire curtains were installed to ensure the fire safety requirements were met. In total, 113 fire curtains were installed, 96 with round headboxes and 17 with square headboxes.
Coopers were able to work with The British Museum’s appointed building contractors to ensure that stringent fire regulations were met without compromising the building’s unique open plan designs. Coopers ensured that the fire curtain systems remained sympathetic to the property’s design by concealing the curtains where possible or using the round headboxes designed specifically for this project.
Coopers fire curtains are recognised as the modern alternative to firewalls, fire doors and glazing, giving designers the freedom to design modern, open plan spaces without compromising fire safety. They are increasingly specified by designers as a solution for open plan designs.
Coopers Fire is a turnkey business, offering the customer a product and service with full provenance. Coopers Fire designs, manufactures, tests, installs and maintains all its fire curtains from our business premises in Havant, Hampshire.