Natural stone flooring in the new Whitworth

13 01 2014

Natural stone flooring in the new Whitworth

When our architects MUMA first visited the Gallery back in 2009 one of the things they were struck by was the quality and enduring beauty of the natural materials that had been employed by architect John Bikerdike for the 1960s internal interventions – these included elm panelling, slate and loliondo wood.

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In keeping with the existing Gallery materials, whilst clearly distinguishing the newly designed elements of the building, MUMA have chosen oak and Purbeck stone for wall panelling, exhibition gallery flooring and promenade and cafe flooring. In addition, contrasting stone or wood will be laid at the thresholds between a room and adjacent spaces.

Great care has been taken to ensure the practical aspects of each material has been taken into account to determine longevity, slip resistance, finish and maintenance. As the stone varies in colour, each piece will be carefully selected at source to achieve an overall colour tone and then sorted and grouped by the stone contractor as it is laid to avoid a patchy appearance; detailed and cost effective pattern layouts have been worked out in advance that relate to the size beds in the ground at the Purbeck quarry.

Over recent weeks on site, huge progress has been made on the flooring – underfloor heating and floor screeds have been laid and now, as shown in the main photo, sample areas are being checked for consistency and quality control.

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17 02 2014

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