KJ Tait

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Fitzwilliam Museum
Arts & Community

This project involved the refurbishment of Gallery 3.  The gallery has a grand three-domed rooflight but suffered from infiltration leading to extremes of hot and cold in peak season.  These conditions prevented the gallery from borrowing exhibits for temporary exhibitions.

We worked with the Architects to thermally model various options of glazing and blinds to develop the best compromise between good daylight, reducing heat loss and prevention of overheating.  The gallery did not have the funds to add full international specification air conditioning, but the careful semi-passive approach adopted uses simple extract ventilation to limit overheating during occasional densely occupied classical music performances and conservation based heating to help stabilise humidity in winter.


The study took a lot of highly technical work and careful design to deliver satisfactory environmental conditions.