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The Treasury seen open to the public for the first time on its opening weekend
Concealed, cantilevered brackets allow the books to be displayed so that they appear to float within the cases
The level of detail can be seen with careful object lighting being used to make the books appear to float within the Treasury Library's showcases
Artist's impression of the gallery, where the portrait of Thomas Bodley will hang surveying the library's treasures.
Layout of the Treasury. The diagonal arrangement of the central showcases subtly guides the visitor throught the gallery.
A warm wash of light below the showcases helps them to float delicately within the space
The treasures appear to float within their own miniature stage sets, with nothing to distract the eye from the object on display.
A palette of noble materials includes hand-patinated bronze, champagne coloured limestone and bronze toned fabrics.
Attention to detail is more than skin deep: even the hidden case hinges are beautifully designed.
Theatre lighting on a minute scale; each showcase is lit like a stage.
Prototype of a typical showcase mullion, crafted from brass and ready to be patinated by hand.
The gallery walls are built in St Maximin limestone, the same beautiful champagne coloured stone from which most of Paris is built.
‘Designed to feel like stepping into a jewellery box and composed of a palette of ‘noble’ materials befitting of the objects on display.’
The Treasury is a new permanent exhibition space at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Occupying a space within the newly refurbished Weston Library which has recently undergone a radical £80 million transformation, the gallery allows selected highlights of the Bodleian Library’s 5000 Treasures to be shown in a purpose built space for the first time in the library’s history. Artefacts on display include Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible and the Gough Map. Here the challenge was to deliver the benefactor’s vision of a treasures gallery where books appear to float jewel-like delicately in space, all the while resolving these aesthetic aspirations with stringent conservation practice which requires the artefacts to be held perfectly still and steadily in their cases. The Treasury is composed of a palette of ‘noble’ materials befitting of the objects on display, including limestone walls and floors, a fabric ceiling and showcases clad in hand patinated bronze.
Status Completed
Area 150m² (1,614 ft²)
Client Helen Hamlyn Trust
Project Team DHA Design, EC Harris LLP, Goppion, Long & Partners, Mace Limited, Pell Frischmann