Case study

Pitt Rivers Museum

Pitt Rivers Museum, founded in 1884 houses more than 500, 000 objects, photographs and manuscripts from all over the world, and from all periods of human existence. Within these are exceptional objects of ritual significance, and objects made for tourists or trade.

The museum is widely regarded as one of the best of its kind. It is also a contested space that calls for innovative curation to engage with more difficult aspects of its history; a place where many histories collide and where objects from Britain’s colonial past sit side by side with more recent, and much older ones.

What We Did

P4 were delighted to be the nominated suppliers of the upgraded emergency lighting system to The Pitt Rivers Museum. Prior to P4 being installed by an Oxford based electrical contractor, the building relied on a ‘keyswitch’ emergency lighting system. The inherent problem associated with the older keyswitch arrangement meant that a person had to walk the entire building during open hours and manually test all fittings were operational in emergency mode. To do this in such a delicate and public enriched environment was difficult and disruptive.

With our self-test system, not only do the fittings now test by themselves at a scheduled time suited to the environment (this could be at midnight for example), they now also record and store the test results to comply with industry standards, something that would have been done manually beforehand. Another advantage of using the P4 system in this historic building is the fact that it negates the need to find a physical communication path via cabling, back to the Central Supervision Unit (The M-Web). This is now done wirelessly without disruption to walls, ceilings and exhibitions as well as reducing install costs.

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