08. June 2011 SSI Schaefer's Shelving System Serving Science A special kind of shelving system installed by SSI Schaefer for the Museum of Natural History, Berlin.
An exceptional system solution with high aesthetic and conservation requirements. System sections with glass bases and glazed front panels underline a level of solutions expertise extending far beyond standard components.
They are the backbone of scientific research into the natural world: The collections of specimens at natural history museums. With around 30 million objects, the Museum of Natural History in Berlin possesses one of the most important collections in the world.
As the gradual re-design of the museum landscape in Berlin was begun after the fall of the wall, plans were started for renovating the Museum of Natural History. The aim was to store a large proportion of the preserved specimens in the east wing under optimal climatic conditions. Right from the start, attention was paid to making selected examples of the fish and reptile collection accessible to museum visitors. “We needed an innovative solution for storage and presentation that met the high functional and aesthetic requirements. Flexibility in the customised design and safety requirements with regard to fire protection and ventilation also needed to be assured”, explains Dr. Peter Bartsch, responsible Head of Department and Curator of the collection at the Museum of Natural History in Berlin. SSI Schaefer, Neunkirchen was awarded the contract for this challenging project.
Based on the R 3000 modular shelving system, the intralogistics specialist designed an optimal, tailored platform system solution using accessories primarily from standard elements. “Everything else is the result of longtest runs and new developments, from the glass design through to the shelves”, explains Klaus Muhl, Project Manager at SSI Schaefer. To achieve this, the building space of over 6 m in places was divided into 3 levels. The basic area of the 3 storeys totals around 1,150 m². A 2-storey racking system modified specifically for the space and the purpose is installed on each level.
Around 1 million objects in the zoological collection are housed in the new collections store. It includes around 260,000 glass containers alone, preserved in 81,000 litres of alcohol.
The east wing has been open to the general public since September 2010. Almost a third of the liquid specimens are exhibited there. To facilitate this, the ground floor has been fitted with an allglass display area. In a controlled tour through more than 300 m² of exhibition space, visitors can view rare specimens, some of which are of inestimable scientific and cultural value.
Dr. Bartsch: “SSI Schaefer invested considerable development work to install an optimum solution incorporating aesthetic, conservation and technical fire safety considerations. The new collection store is an additional showcase area that will keep more scientists and visitors interested in our museum.”