Much of the refurbishment of this Grade-A listed building hinged around the problem of the original large glass roof over the atrium. There has always been an issue between allowing direct light into museum spaces to view objects in a natural environment. This is because of the associated degradation and damage caused by solar radiation and ultraviolet lights on artefacts such as paint, varnishes, wood, textiles, pigments and dyes. Many museums will often limit the annual exposure to daylight by rotating displays.
At this museum, the glass roof had been covered with layers of black paint to block out the daylight to reduce damage. This, however, made for a dark and depressing space. Consequently, Kalwall was specified to replace the existing glass running the length of the central atrium. Kalwall’s unique structure also deflects harmful UV-A and UV-B rays for the lifetime of the product, unlike coatings used on other solutions which gradually wear away. The lightweight nature of Kalwall also meant the existing supporting structures could be used, while additional insulation was also incorporated to achieve an incredible U-value for a glazing product of 0.57W/m2K.
A stunning double pitched Kalwall roof which complements the original architecture of this historic building and enabling the beautiful atrium space to be naturally illuminated, reinstating the site as a cultural centre for the community. Kalwall has the added advantage of transmitting the full spectrum of visible light for perfect colour rendition and excellent visual clarity, combined with complete UVA/B protection which was essential for the preservation of the museum’s artefacts.
The project was shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious AJ Retrofit awards in 2021 and was awarded a Special Conservation honour by the Glasgow Institute of Architecture (GIA) in 2020. It was also a shortlisted finalist for the 2021 RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) awards.
McLean Museum & Art Gallery