Bruynzeel Storage Systems began discussions with the British Museum in 2010 about the supply of electronically operated mobile carriages for the fit out of the proposed World Conservation and Exhibition Centre (WCEC).

The purpose built extension presented a challenge architecturally to house diverse collection of objects from Africa, Asia and the Americas – to provide suitable storage and be preserved for the future generations.

Storage was required for a range over 220,000 artefacts ensuring access for collections whilst considering space efficiency and risks.

Bruynzeel was tasked with providing customised storage solutions that simply expressed the collections complexity and historical content of the objects, whilst optimising the space to suitable place all the collection.


The extension project value was  in the region of £135m, including the basements stores, conservation laboratories and a new temporary exhibition space. The architects were Rogers Stirk + Partners

Bruynzeel Storage Systems visited the museum to learn more about the project and the objects involved.

All project stake holders were required to work together and form the team for the management of this the WCEC project. Bruynzeel and the Museum collaborated and, what started as a straight-forward supply and installation of Compactus® Dynamic mobile carriages developed into Bruynzeel taking the design lead and running monthly design workshops to keep the project on plan. The museum chose this route as Bruynzeel were manufacturing the storage system solutions without relying on any third-party supplier involvement.

Tony Spence, Head of Collection Services said: “Dealing with a manufacturer is important for a number of reasons such as cost, capacity and, because our collection is vast and non-standard, we need a comprehensive  product range. Working with a manufacturer gives you a flexibility in product design at source. It was really useful to see the factory and work with the manufacturer to gain a technical understanding of the products and so  utilise both standard and bespoke solutions. With that insight we were able to fulfil the requirements of safely housing as much material as possible in the new stores.”

Bruynzeel was able to demonstrate manufacturing quality, expert design and innovation capabilities and therefore ensured the British Museum collections were stored in the best possible way.

Solomon Islands Canoe

Solomon Islands Canoe

Solomon Islands Canoe

The key factors considered by the Museum in choosing Bruynzeel Storage Systems Limited: 

  • Manufacturer of quality storage solutions
  • Reduced cost buying direct from a manufacturer
  • Comprehensive product range
  • Flexibility of design and innovation capabilities
  • Confidence in technical expertise
  • Knowledgeable project team
  • Space optimisation and efficiency
  • Access to factory to see the quality of the manufacturing process
  • Factory insights at the factory to visualise our innovation and product design


Asked if Bruynzeel met the Museum’s expectations, Tony Spence said: “Bruynzeel exceeded our expectations.    “Why?’, ‘Because Bruynzeel listened and understood the brief, building a relationship to gain understanding and insight and building confidence, trusting our capability to deliver’.


Sector:- Museum


Compactus® Dynamic Mobile Carriages (all electronic),

Sysco shelving,Cantilever racking (bespoke storage),

Static ArteStore,

Compactus® ArteStore,

Pallet racking (bespoke storage),

Storage Plinths (bespoke storage),

Large format trays 2.5m x 2m (bespoke storage)

Storage for:-

Africa, Oceania and Americas collections

Completed by:-  Bruynzeel Storage Systems Limited

Project duration :-  2010 – 2018

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