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Fermacell panels dry-line The Portland Collection gallery

  • 5 Oct 2016

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Fermacell has supplied 4,000m2 of its gypsum fibreboard panels for the new home of the Portland collection, a 5,000-strong collection of the most historically significant private collections of fine and decorative arts.

Specified for its loading capabilities, direct tile bonding application in wet areas and direct external canopy soffit application; the Fermacell board was used to dry-line the walls, ceilings, bulkheads and external soffits of the gallery, which exhibits a rarely-shown Michelangelo drawing and a pearl earring worn by Charles I at his execution.

The new £5 million gallery, which has already collected four RIBA East Midland Awards and a RIBA National Award in 2016, was designed by Hugh Broughton Architects within the walls of the historic Welbeck estate in Nottinghamshire. 

Hugh Broughton designed brick and glass entrance pavilion with two galleries – the first being a barrel-vaulted Long Gallery for full-length oil paintings, lit by a rooflight running its full length (pictured above). The second, a Treasure Gallery, features louvered north lights and varying ceiling heights. The building also incorporates office space, as well as loading and packing areas. 

Much consideration was given to the building’s colour, which mixes plain white in the reception spaces and visitor facilities with mid tones, greys and reds, on the display walls, supplemented inside individual showcases with greens and a rich blue. 

Due to its rural location, as well as the lack of a gas utility network, electrically driven plant was required to heat and cool the 880m2 (GIA) building,whilst the use of air-sourced heat pumps and 60kWp photovoltaic array has achieved an A-rated EPC, with predicted emissions of 5.04kg of CO2/m2 per annum.

Excellent loading capabilities

Installed over five months by the ALD Group for Caddice Construction, the Fermacell gypsum fibreboard panels were fitted onto Fermacell steel profiles to allow greater build heights and slimmer walls. The panels were treated with the company’s FST (Fine Surface Treatment) to provide a skin-type finish. 

The 12.5mm square-edged panels are up to 100% more dense than standard plasterboard according to Fermacell, giving them excellent loading capabilities. 

The panels provide an ideal single layer solution to pattressing, as they can carry up to 50kg per cavity fixing and 30kg per screw for dead loads. This was particularly important to the gallery, as it negated the need to plan in advance where items are to be hung and consequently where specific areas need to be pattressed, ultimately making the exhibition design scheme more flexible and future proof. 

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