Ian Ritchie Architects

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Ecology Gallery Natural History Museum

The new gallery’s spaces were created using Pilkington’s Optiwhite® – a low-iron colourless glass – variously treated – transparent, translucent, opaque, printed and lit with coloured light, and arranged to form a dynamic chasm down the length of the exhibition. This introductory walk leads the visitor to the ‘East Room’. This is where the exhibition begins in detail and where the visitor gently moves up to return at mid-point in the chasm on the first bridge before discovering the rest of the exhibition.Ecology Gallery, Natural History Museum: The glass chasm
Crossing the chasm are four gently cambered bridges, some inclined, some horizontal, seemingly suspended from the fragile glass walls. The bridge surfaces differ – recycled rubber tyres, wood, metal and finally glass – allude to man’s history in processing raw materials. The bridges connect the different themes of the exhibition.  The generously curved deck of each bridge provides space to pause and offers a glimpse of man in his surroundings while also allowing orientation and to measure progress through the exhibition.
The glass walls of low-iron glass are the world’s first application of structurally bonded glass in a public building.
The Ecology Exhibition opened in April 1991 and although projected to run ten years, ran unchanged in concept until 2006 when it was reduced to half its size to make way for a shop!

Books
1/2002 BRIDGE BUILDERS John Wiley and Sons
ISBN: ISBN-10: 047149786X, ISBN-13: 978-0471497868
1/2001 LONDON (A Guide to Recent Architecture) Ellipsis
ISBN: 0713488069
1/1999 ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF CONTEMPORARY BRITISH CULTURE Routledge
1/1994 MUSEUM BUILDERS Academy/Ernst and Sohn, London
ISBN: 1854901915
Journal Articles
06/1995 BRITISH ARCHITECTURAL PROFILE
10/1993 DISENO INTERIOR
04/1993 TECHNIQUES ET ARCHITECTURE
10/1992 DBZ
08/1992 FISSION PLANNING
11/1991 L'ARCA
11/1991 ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
09/1991 L'ARCHITECTURE D'AUJOURD'HUI
08/1991 RIBA JOURNAL
03/1990 THE GUARDIAN
03/1990 BUILDING DESIGN
PRIVATE EYE

Ecology Gallery Natural History Museum

London, UK

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