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A Collection of Cultural Masterpieces

In celebration of National Shakespeare Day - a collection of cultural masterpieces!

“All the world‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.’

As You Like it Act 2, Scene 7

Manufacturing may be far removed from the erudite world of The Arts and Humanities but we like to think that we are playing our part in contributing to the smooth operation of some of the most famous and inspiring cultural attractions across the UK and beyond.

All the world’s a stage…

You can find our speciality horizontal access covers in all manner of cultural buildings including theatres, museums, boats and ancient Roman baths.   Whether you are into looking at beautiful works of art, being mesmerised by a Royal Shakespeare Company performance of Hamlet or taking the kids for a fun day out in London chances are you will have come across our access covers and hatches.

And all the men and women merely players…

When it comes to horizontal access products we may have to disagree with the Bard on this one! Our access products may only be a small component in the overall building envelope however their role is significant.  Being able to access concealed services under floors safely and with ease has cost and time saving implications for the management of any building.  Likewise with roof access hatches the ability to access the rooftop safely and conveniently or to provide a safe exit in the event of fire is critical to the safe operation of any commercial or public building. 

They have their exits and their entrances…

Whilst our existence on this earth may only be temporary our access products have been designed and manufactured to last!

The Howe Green stainless steel floor access covers have an expected life span of around 40 years.  We have seen many examples of where the access cover has outlived the surrounding flooring.

One man in his time plays many parts…

Just as we all play different roles in different aspects of our lives our horizontal access products can serve a different purpose depending upon the type of building that they have been installed in, the type of services to which they provide access, the frequency of access required and the finish required. 

In some instances the access product can serve multiple purposes, just as an actor can play multiple roles within a play.  The new Bilco SKY-ACCESS roof hatch and skylight is a great example of a product fulfilling several different roles. The SKY-ACCESS provides access to roof areas, allows natural daylight to the area below and can be used as a ventilator for smoke ventilation protection.

As you like it…

With our ability to manufacture any horizontal access product to any bespoke specification - ”as you like it”  is certainly the mantra for the Bilco and Howe Green brands. 

Howe Green designed and manufactured a bespoke circular access cover in 316-grade stainless steel for the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery at The World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre (WCEC) within the British Museum.  The bespoke cover offered a stylish and discreet solution with the capability to withstand a 40kn load.   Each of the box sections have built-in cable access and voice/data plug-in points.  Slotted steel lids were made for the covers for when they were in use. The access covers were infilled with coloured polished concrete inserts, which were made to match the surrounding Ed Lazenby floor and provide an uninterrupted floor finish when required.

Our “masterpieces”…

The Other Place – Stratford-Upon-Avon

Howe Green was delighted to be specified for this renovation project in the birthplace of the Bard.  The Other Place houses a 200 seat theatre, costume store for the Royal Shakespeare Company and a learning hub for drama students.

Howe Green’s 7500 Series Aluminium Floor Access Covers were installed on the ground floor to provide easy access to underfloor ducting services throughout the building. 

Blair Castle – Blair Atholl, Perthshire

One of the most popular visitor attractions and famous landmarks in Scotland, Blair Castle attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe every year.

Maintenance of this Category A listed building, constructed in 1269, is not an easy task. If roof access was required the maintenance team had to climb through a small trap door and use loose ladders –not ideal! 

Following a site survey with a Bilco engineer a BILCO CS-50TB Companionway Roof Access Hatch was installed to provide convenient and safe access to the roof area. Read the full details of the project here.

The Cutty Sark – Greenwich, London

Located in the heart of Greenwich this beautiful Grade 1 listed museum ship is a popular tourist attraction for both young and old. 

Over fifty of Howe Green’s 7500 Series Aluminium Floor Access Covers, with bespoke Z-section supports, were supplied for the project.  Contractor Ellmer Construction installed the single and multipart units under a unique glass canopy designed to allow people to walk underneath the Cutty Sark itself and view the elegant lines of her hull. 

Glasgow Museum of Transport

Designed by the internationally-renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the stunning building on the banks of the River Clyde is one of Glasgow's favourite tourist attractions.

Bilco Smoke Vents and Roof Access Hatches were specified for the project. The unusual steel and zinc roof, with a rippling zigzag, required BILCO to supply modified units with zinc cladding to achieve the desired look.  A modified E-50T Hatch was supplied and installed to the 46 degree sloping roof enabling maintenance staff to gain easy, safe access to roof equipment.

Two single leaf zinc clad BILCO Smoke Vents were also supplied.  The Smoke Vents were fitted with smoke detectors that trigger the vents to open to the “fire open” position of 140 degrees within 60 seconds.  This allows smoke, heat and noxious gases to be vented from the building to aid in the safe evacuation of any people within the building in the event of a fire. Read the full details of the project here.

Other projects in cultural buildings include:-

Lews Castle

Nationalmuseum of Art in Stockholm

Ashmolean Museum

National Waterfront Museum - Swansea

Roman Baths

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The Cutty Sark, Greenwich, London

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