In December, the conservation team were finally able to access and tour the new building site. While currently a concrete shell, the space is huge and has so much potential! Visiting the site is an essential part of the planning process, and our priority for this first trip was to not only visualise the finished exhibitions, but to check that we could physically move the larger exhibition specimens into the new building.
We have several big and heavy specimens planned for the new space, including our Diplodocus Misty and the Savik meteorite, which weighs approximately 3 tons. While we were pleased to see the freight elevator, which goes from the ground level to each sub-level, we must consider that the ground level of course has its own weight capacity, since it is technically the roof of our underground museum. This will need to be considered when delivery trucks start arriving on site!
We also assessed the height of the galleries since it varies so greatly from floor to floor. The design of the ceiling is very unique and while it looks amazing, we need to ensure that very tall specimens such as Misty will fit while accommodating adequate space for fire-suppression systems and lighting, which is still being designed. Once the building is handed over to the museum next year, we will have more frequent access and start planning the moving phase in more detail. We will also be developing methods for packing and moving complex and delicate specimens such as dried plants and corals.
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