Storage Case Study for St Cross College, Oxford

Basement Picture Store and Archive

The clients brief was to make the best use of a cramped basement room, with tricky access, that currently housed HVAC equipment that could not be moved.

The client had a large collection of wrapped pictures that were in long term storage, that they didn’t have the space to hang in the building but wanted to view at a moment’s notice. As well as general archived material that needed to be housed in one location.

Following a site visit by one of Polstore’s Project Managers, the room was surveyed, and a scheme was formulated with the client whilst on site. We then went back to produce a detailed plan drawing and specification, as well as a detailed itemised quote.

The solution was to produce a custom made double sided, pull out picture rack, that generated almost 53 square metres of hanging space. However, due to the large number of pipes and cables on the ceiling, it was not possible to hang it from above, so the racking featured our self-supporting goal post system, that merely requires fixing to the floor.

A plan chest for storage and display of maps and architectural drawings, was also required, as well as general archive storage to fill the available space.

The basement access was via a narrow spiral staircase, which required us to cut the top sliding bars of the picture racking unit in half whilst on site & join them together in situ. The plan chest was also manufactured in two equal sections and assembled on site, with the 66 linear metres of museum grade shelving, being produced in kit form for assembly within the room.

The client was amazed that we were able to incorporate his needs as well as allowing for future expansion, within a small cramped space. By placing the picture rack against one wall (which extends into the main area when in use) & putting the low height plan chest (which doubles up as a viewing table) in the centre of the room, with the shelving around the outside, the room does not feel cramped and imposing, creating the right atmosphere to view the stored paintings and documents.

Polstore have been specialists in the design, supply and installation of Heritage storage products since 1963. Our experience and expertise lead us to create practical working spaces in some of the most challenging environments.

Thank you very much for organising and looking after us during the installation; it’s been much appreciated. Cracking service from the Polstore office!




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