Our team worked closely with Frank Gehry on the MEP concept design, and supported the planning application for this unique project. The complex form called for extreme inventiveness and the application of many advanced technologies. 3D design, for example, was essential.
Our design had to save energy and eliminate all visible grilles and pipework in order to meet Gehry’s requirements. A sustainable design solution was achieved using the water table for heating and cooling combined with radiant floors and displacement ventilation. The result is a draught-free environment even in the largest galleries. The air within the lower two metres of the rooms is treated for the comfort of visitors, while the rest of the volume is treated for art work conservation only. Displacement cooling also reduces the in-room treatment of heat gains from the overhead lights. The majority of mechanical and electrical devices are hidden from view, whether CCTV, switches, thermostats and detectors.
Controlling the atmosphere for the art collections was also a priority and particularly challenging since the museum is partly open to the external environment. Located on terraces in the upper parts of the museum, some of the more robust exhibits are exposed to the open air, covered just by glass roofs and screens. As some of the circulation routes between these terraces and the internal spaces are open, we conducted extensive modelling to understand the influence of the flow of people and of the outside world on the quality and stability of the internal environment.