NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
London's Natural History Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world. Housing more than 80 million specimens and welcoming more than five million visitors annually it is no surprise that this historic building has it's fair share of wear and tear.
The initial client enquiry was for the creation of plan drawings for the staircase handrail supports seen throughout the museum. Made from iron and brass these double and single headed structures were cast from lathed wooden formers from which moulds were taken. Time and visitors had not been kind to many of the old handrails and several were starting to deteriorate and move in their foundations. Along with the replacements additional railings were also needed for new ramp sections of the walkways.
As you can see from the handrail sketch sent to us our initial worries would be for accurate measurements and information. Fortunately as the project moved forward more and more details were supplied and we were able to finalise the plan drawings for the client.
It was during the creation of these plans that an additional challenge was set for us; the 3D digital creation of the handrails twisted flutes. The original metal spirals would have been cast from wooden formers each one created by hand and fitted into the lathed parts of the railing. With limited project time, we were asked to find a solution.