Case Study: McLean Museum and Art Gallery Case Study

Case study McLean Museum and Art Gallery Case Study

Client: McLean Museum & Art Gallery

Architect: Collective Architecture

Location: Greenock, Scotland

Sector: Category A listed building restoration

Product: Bespoke Chimney Pots

McLean Museum & Art Gallery

Situated in Greenock, Inverclyde, in Scotland, the purpose-built McLean Museum and Art Gallery first opened its doors to the public in 1876. Over 140 years later, the Category A listed building is undergoing a £2 million programme of emergency repairs to its parapets and towers, window replacement, roof repairs and treatment for wet rot, as well as work to improve disabled access with the addition of a lift and the opening up of an historic doorway. The work is being funded by owner Inverclyde Council – who wanted to ensure the protection of the museum’s artefacts and exhibits – and a grant from Historic Environment Scotland.

Included in the work is the replacement of 12 ornate chimney pots, which are an important feature of the building’s roof. Only three of the original pots had survived, one of which was damaged and held together with wire. The architect working on the project, Justin McNeil of Glasgow-based Collective Architecture, needed to find a supplier who could produce accurate replicas of the chimney pots. He contacted Red Bank – who celebrate 100 years of manufacturing next year – sending them a photograph of one the pots. Following discussions with both the architect and the contractor, Red Bank confirmed that they could assist.

Using traditional model and moulding methods that have been around for centuries, the Red Bank craftsmen set about the task of producing replica chimney pots using one of the intact pots as a guide.

A plaster mould, that allows for the natural clay shrinkage that occurs at firing stage, was made of the pot. Red Bank typically uses a selection of three standard clays: red, buff and blue-black. In this instance, buff was selected to match the originals.

McLean Museum & Art Gallery

Collective Architecture

Greenock, Scotland

Category A listed building restoration

Bespoke Chimney Pots

• Bespoke Chimney Pots

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The mould was carefully filled with clay and left to dry to a point where it was hard enough to allow for the mould to be removed. After removing the mould, the pot was then skilfully fettled to remove any sharp edges before being smoothed off to extract imperfections and seal the surface to keep out any moisture ingress.

After being left to slowly dry for between one and two weeks, the pots were kiln-fired to a temperature of approximately 1100 degrees centigrade.

Architect Justin McNeil was delighted with the results and the service provided by Red Bank: “We had a tight timescale for producing what were very detailed and unusual chimney pots – we needed to get them in place before the scaffolding came down.

In the end, Red Bank managed to better the original timescale quoted and all the pots were installed without any delay to the project.”

The original pot used as a copy by Red Bank’s craftsman has been returned to the museum for archiving in their stores for future reference.

Clayware manufactured by Red Bank is used for listed buildings and restoration projects catering for all styles of architectural design. It offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of bespoke and off-the-shelf chimney and roofing components in the UK. The company’s highly skilled and experienced craftsmen can produce bespoke ridge tiles, roof finials, chimney pots, copings, and many other products. All they require is either an item sample or dimensioned technical drawing. Alternatively, a site visit can be arranged to obtain measurements and impressions of the products required.

For more information about Red Bank’s bespoke product service visit them on stand A11 at the Scottish Listed Property Show, The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 27th October 2018.

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