Case Study: Black Country Living Museum
The Black Country Living Museum is an open-air museum in Dudley, in the heart of the Black Country, that tells the story of what it was like to live and work in one of the first industrialised landscapes in Britain.
The museum, built on the site of former industrial land partly reclaimed from a former railway goods yard, disused lime kilns, canal arm and coal mines.
Over 50 shops, houses and industrial buildings have been relocated and reconstructed from around the Black Country area to give demonstrations of what life was like over the last 300 years.
The BCLM is made up of old buildings made with historical materials so that they look historically accurate without modern insulation.
Plus, with the doors being kept open for the majority of the day so that visitors can come and go easily within the buildings, the interiors were often cold during the winter. The staff working in the buildings are all in period costume and so needed to be kept warm within the buildings, but without the heat source distracting from the historical nature of the museum. In some cases, traditional fires could be used in houses or in the factory forges, but within other buildings like shops, offices and the chapel a fire would look out of place. That’s where we came in…
We worked with the museum to find discrete locations for heaters and then colour matched them to the surroundings so they would blend into the background and keep the feel of the era alive within the museum whilst maintaining a comfortable temperature within the buildings.