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OLYMPIC GAMES / BEYOND THE PARK


BEYOND THE PARK CUTTY SARK


For over 50 years the 19th Century tea clip- per Cutty Sark has stood in the Greenwich district of London as a popular landmark and tourist attraction, but in 2006 a major restoration project began to completely reinvent the visitor experience. Royal Museums Greenwich drafted in Grimshaw Architects to convert the vessel’s dry dock location into a glass-covered visitor centre with extended exhibition space. The project was far from plane sailing; in 2007 an electrical fire ravaged the ship, casting doubts over whether it would ever recover. Thankfully all of the deckhouses, masts and interior had already been re- moved along with most of the hull plank- ing, and restoration was soon back on track – galvanized by the promise to reopen in time for the Olympics.


The refurbishment was divided into two elements. The rebuilding of the ship and


creation of the new centre was carried out by a Base Build team while the installation of the final exhibition elements were the remit of the Interpretation team. In the Base Build stages, engineers WSP worked closely with Grimshaw Architects to deliver the essential elements of the visitor centre. This included the installation of Modular Nomad Lighting in the reception space and WILA handrail lighting to guide visitors into the centre.


By covering the dry berth, Grimshaw cre- ated a new space that allows the public to wander freely beneath the imposing hull of the ship. Erco Focalflood luminaires were installed along the top edge of the dry berth to light the lower half of the freshly brass-clad hull. The reflected illumination provides indirect lighting for the space, complemented by further Focalfloods that were directed into the covered dry dock


Top and Opposite Grimshaw Architects have encased the Cutty Sark’s hull in a sea of glass that covers the dry dock below to create a new gallery space into which Erco Focalfloods are directed.


Above Up on deck, Epistar LED strips were installed under the pin rail for way-finding during nighttime events.


With the world’s attention turning to London, the effects of this summer’s Games have extended well beyond the limits of the Olympic Park. We take a lot at some recently completed projects...


Five years after fire ravaged its hull, the Cutty Sark reopened this year with a new visitors centre.


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