Colchester Museum is a visual arts centre based in Colchester Essex which opened in 2011. It cost a massive £25,542,701 to build, with its exhibits changing on a rolling six monthly basis as it has no permanent art collection of its own.

The museum was designed by architect Rafael Viñoly whose design was picked from more than 100 entries worldwide in a competition to design the building. Rafael Viñoly Architects are also the creators of the Curve Theatre in Leicester and the masterplan for London’s Battersea Power Station redevelopment.

The building is situated in Colchester’s ‘Cultural Quarter’ in 15 Queen Street which includes The Natural History Museum, Hollytrees Museum, The Norman Colchester Castle and Colchester’s Roman Wall. It is built on a steel frame and clad entirely in TECU Gold – a malleable copper-aluminium alloy that had to be applied by hand. The site is scheduled ancient monument land, with archaeological artefacts buried beneath. This meant a ‘no-dig’ policy so conventional foundations could not be dug. Instead, the vast 3,200 square metre building is supported by a giant concrete ‘raft’, which floats above the ground.

As this building was new and not built upon more historical foundations, they could be totally innovative and creative with their washroom design. They wanted a colourful, artistic and dynamic feel for their washrooms. They chose all their products in stainless steel which matched the blue backgrounds of their washrooms beautifully with flashes of bright stainless steel against a sky blue background.

Products Used

We supplied our BC270-2 stainless steel double toilet roll holder, a contemporary design with two concealed fixings designed to hold two standard toilet rolls. For bins in their washrooms they wanted something hygienic but easy to maintain. They chose our DP5116, a 34 litre waste bin complete with fabric stand-bag for easy waste disposal, a satin finish with welded corners to ensure there were no sharp edges and easy to empty with integrated handles making this a nice option for facilities management teams to maintain.

As the washrooms were expected to have a high volume of users daily, they wanted products that were as hygienic as possible so we provided our DB400 panel mounted electronic infrared tap. Touch-free for ultimate hygiene by reducing the risk of bacterial spread this was a great option for their washrooms. To continue their theme of stainless steel design they used our BC9288BM behind mirror paper towel dispenser. Designed to be fitted behind a fixed mirror or panel this product is ideal for modern and minimalist washroom designs.

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Rafael Viñoly Architects