Artworks Case Study: Framing a British Institution

art picture racking

Art Picture Racking & Museum Archive Storage

In 2020, Polstore Storage Systems Limited was commissioned to work on the provision of storage for artworks & historic archive material to a London based client – due to CV19 delays and access to site the work has finally been completed to the relief of all involved. The nature of the assets required a bespoke solution to accommodate a number of factors.

Weight was a key influence in selecting the right storage units, in order to be user friendly as well as structurally robust. Our universal shelving system is designed for heavy use in the most demanding of environments which meant they were ideal for this client, whose collection included large bronze sculptures. The drawer load capacities support up to 200kg with an overall bay capacity of 5500kg.

There were large framed paintings in the collection as well, therefore the durability of the art picture racking storage solution offered to our client was extremely important. When we presented the design, we were able to advise our client that all shelving products are covered by our 5-year warranty, with the drawer slides and guide rails covered by a lifetime warranty.

Our drawer and slide systems have been designed to survive repetitive heavy use, without impacting the smoothness of movement. Manufactured from steel, the top of the drawer has a secondary fold to avoid sharp edges giving the drawer strength and stability. Of the two types of pull drawers we offer, we recommended our client selected the ‘full’ version, which gives 100% extension with a max load of 200kg per drawer.

Once the universal shelving design was selected, we could then work with our client on the finer custom details to ensure the whole solution worked for their needs. This can include upgrades such as:

  • Pull out shelves with internal steel trays supporting the heavy weight of the sculptures
  • Trolley with swivel castors supporting 400kg parked within the shelving system
  • Safety anti tilt locking system allowing only one drawer to be opened at any one time

Alongside the archive shelving system we installed our vertically hung Art Picture Racking System. A crucial element to the layout, as with existing storage systems already in place, it left little allocated storage space for artworks. The 24 mesh panel picture racking system was mounted within our goal post system giving the collection team well needed storage capacity.

As with all our art racking designs on completion the system is tested ensuring we minimise vibrations when pulled out and that it can be pulled out by 1 person without strain.

We understand that all our clients want to finish the look of their storage units to their personal taste, without sacrificing any element of durability. That’s why we have a two-layer paint process to ensure a high resistant coating. Firstly, all metalwork is initially dipped and painted inside and out to eliminate corrosion, then a second coat is applied adding the client’s preferred colour, which in this case was an attractive blue.

The installation brought its own challenges being sub basement level, but the wealth of experience among our team meant this made the whole process more interesting! The Polstore team is enthusiastic, passionate and committed when it comes to any of our storage solutions.

The installation went very smoothly. I want to add how great Ray and Darren have been, they have toiled away tirelessly and have done an absolutely smashing job

London Client


Picture art racking Picture art racking


Your storage challenge is unique and we treat it as such. We will work with you from the outset to develop your plans and create the perfect storage product solution for you.

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