The site includes an existing listed building and development of a new museum and archive facility for an extensive private shoe collection. The Alfred Gillett Trust’s collection includes a unique collection of shoes collected by the Clarks family over several generations. Also documents and objects recording the history of C&J Clark Ltd. Therefore, the design needed to cater for both a heavyweight and hygroscopic collection (paper) as well as a lightweight (shoes) collection.
The first phase involved a refurbishment of the Grange to create a museum space and construction of a new archive building. The archive makes use of passive environmental control techniques and thereby minimises energy use. The wall constructions include in excess of 300mm of dense blockwork to provide thermal mass and are finished internally using hygroscopic plaster to moderate humidity levels using passive means. There are four strong rooms arranged over two levels (ground and semi-basement), and accessed from a central core. The building and services have been designed to extend to a future second phase to provide four additional strong rooms.
The building services installation comprises a heat recovery ventilation system to the core spaces. The strong rooms are ventilated into the core via a smoke damper (automatically controlled) when introduction of ventilation air is beneficial to the internal conditions. Heating is provided by a small gas fired boiler and heating pipe loops in the archives. Dehumidification is provided using desiccant dehumidifiers for each strong room to trim internal conditions where necessary.
The building airtightness was exemplary, achieving 0.5m3/h/m2 at 50Pa, with is 20 times better than the minimum airtightness required under Part L2A of the building regulations.