In 2019, we worked with Beaulieu in Hampshire to create a new exhibition space for a private collector, utilising an important 12th century Cistercian wall that dates back to the days of William the Conqueror.
The gallery was built to float off the feature wall and a system designed so the artwork did the same, providing flexibility for future exhibition changes.
The real innovation in the space, however, was the use of new technology to light and protect the collection.
At its core is an innovative wireless lighting system, embedded with Bluetooth technology and installed by Crown Fine Art’s expert team.
With SmART/Tech Lighting, we could install the first ever museum-grade system to run completely autonomously; monitoring Lux levels, humidity and temperature all by itself. Using encrypted Bluetooth technology, they provide 24/7 monitoring, without the need for invigilation staff, automatically monitoring and moderating lighting conditions depending on ambient light and visitor numbers.
The intelligent technology also combines with ultra-high frequency radio to create a highly secure 'fence' around artworks and then sends instant signals to security and CCTV if the fence is broken.
Paul Beatson, Senior Client Advisor & Projects Manager at Crown Fine Art, said: “The beauty of the system is that it can be monitored remotely and greatly reduces the need for invigilation staff.
“It can be programmed to light up, flash or set off an audio alarm if anyone gets too close.
“But it is not only security focussed. SmART/Tech also saves on electricity by sensing how many visitors are in the space – and raising or lowering the lighting as a result.”
“Ambient temperature and humidity can also be monitored, helping with conservation by protecting exhibition works.”
Lord Montagu, Beaulieu, added: “It was important that the new security system respected the history and was installed in an un-invasive way. That's exactly what Crown Fine Art has achieved.
"We now have peace of mind that artwork in the exhibition is safe, that the temperature and humidity of the space is set at the right level and that we no longer need invigilation staff constantly on hand to monitor security. The system effectively runs itself.
“Beaulieu is an historic estate. It has been in the ownership of the Montagu family for more than four centuries and its heritage goes all the way back to 1204 when King John gifted the land to monks of the Cistercian order."