In advance of the rebranding of the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, Bagnalls were asked to redecorate several areas including the route to the new gallery “Wonderlab”, which explores what makes science magical. The original wooden flooring on the stairs and landings was first fitted in 1998 and is a specialised product similar to a gymnasium floor, as it is slightly sprung. It had certainly seen some heavy traffic over the years and in many areas the lacquer had worn completely away, whilst in other places it was near perfect. The challenge, therefore, was getting the landings and stairs sanded down to achieve an overall consistent finish and colour.
The redecoration works had to take place on nights, so that the daily visitors to the museum were not affected by the works, however, the last showing at the IMax could be as late as 11.30 in the evening. We had to ensure that dust levels were kept to an absolute minimum to avoid major cleaning issues and also contamination of any adjoining rooms containing museum exhibits. We sealed off adjacent doors, dropping a visqueen curtain over the balcony fronts and the middle of the staircase, and used dust extraction equipment and dust collectors fitted to the sanding equipment.
The final challenge was to ensure that the stairs were usable again for the first visitors at 10am each day, so we sourced the same lacquer that was originally applied, knowing that it had quick drying but also durable qualities.
All areas of the stairwell and landings were sanded and re-polished and the areas now look as good as new. A great amount of additional visitors are expected at the newly branded museum, not only to see the wonders of Wonderlab but also British Astronaut, Tim Peake’s spacecraft, which will be exhibited in September.