Mary Rose Museum

Conserving history

For this unique project, Como redeveloped the Mary Rose Museum to create viewing galleries that provide unrestricted views of the Tudor ship, and bring an important piece of history to life.

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Mary Rose Museum Project summary

Client

Mary Rose Trust

Project value

£4.4m

Key partners

Wilkinson Eyre, Perkins+Will, Ridge & Partners, SLW, Ramboll UK

Services provided

Fit out, Construction

Sectors

Arts and culture

Locations

UK and Europe, UK - Midlands, south-west England and Wales

Project timeline

Start date
October 2015
End date
July 2016
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Project story

Henry VIII’s favourite warship, the Mary Rose, was raised from the seabed in 1982 and has been undergoing continuous conservation ever since. When the ship reached a stable state in her controlled air-drying stage in 2015, we began working with the Mary Rose Trust and the design team to create new viewing galleries that allow the public to see the ship as never before.

We were tasked with removing the ‘hot box’ - a fully insulated structure surrounding the ship that was used during the conservation process - and installing permanent glazed screens on two levels. An open viewing deck with airlock chambers was created on the upper deck. Strict environmental controls were in place to maintain constant temperature and humidity levels, crucial to conserving the ship.

As the only 16th century warship on display in the world, and an irreplaceable piece of history, we had to adopt innovative ways of working to ensure the artefact remained undamaged.

Project stats

150 tonnes of scaffolding constructed around the ship
1,509 sheets of plasterboard used
2,638 metres of metalwork

Points of note

Maintaining the environment

Temperature levels were maintained at 19ºC and humidity levels at 54%, which was critical to the stability and life of the artefact. Contractors entered the site through an airlock and regularly monitored conditions.

Working safely

Keeping operatives safe was just as important as keeping the ship safe. With an average of 50 people working in confined areas, strict safety policies were adhered to and the project was completed without any accidents.

Innovative logistics

To maintain the environment, all materials had to be brought through two small doorways, with tonnes of scaffold and large glazing panels needed, this was no mean feat. Six storeys of scaffold were erected around the ship with tools and ladder beams tethered at all times to prevent anything being dropped on the ship. An innovative rolling working gantry was designed and built to remove roof trusses in sections over the ship.

Working together

A real partnership. Together with the client, design team and our supply team we developed innovative ways to deliver this unusual project. There was a real passion to get a quality job done from everyone involved, which was key to the success of the project.

“Como and its subcontractors worked as a united team to overcome complex sequencing and site logistics while maintaining a precise environment around the Mary Rose. We are delighted with the quality of the fit out, ‘can do’ attitude and attention to detail.”