Greenwich Maritime Museum’s 1999 roof to be replaced

Image courtesy of National Lottery

A glazed roof at the heart of Greenwich Maritime Museum in to be replaced 24 years after installation.

Issues with the roof have emerged over the years according to a submitted proposal for replacement work including:

  • Water ingress through the glazing system
  • Water leaks through walk in gutters. These were repaired but failed.
  • Breakage of glazing panels: the causes are thought to be possibility of nickel sulphide inclusions and glazing retention system and thermal movement.
  • Vents failure: there are motorised opening top vents and side vents, some of which are now defective as are warped, bent or don’t operate. Overheating has occurred as well as concerns over smoke in case of a fire.
Roof design

It’s claimed that excessive heat is putting off visitors to the site with problems “causing impact to visitor comfort, and in turn causing a reduction in visitor footfall in this area of the museum”.

The roof sits above Neptune Court at what was formerly a gymnasium. It sits behind the main Museum Entrance on approach from Romney Road west of the Queen’s House.

An elaborate north range is all that remains of the 1870s indoor gymnasium with the 1999 wrought iron trussed roof structure “built over the previous gymnastics yard. The gymnasium was demolished in the late 1990s when the present Neptune Court was constructed”.

The museum revamp was part of a number of projects across Greenwich at the time with the Millennium Dome underway as well as converting the Old Naval College from MOD use to the University of Greenwich campus seen today.

Overview of museum

According to the application issues first began around 10 years ago. In hot weather the area has become a greenhouse with inadequate ventilation, and chillers are now proposed. Their location has been the subject of some debate given the listed status of buildings.

There was also discussions on what type of glazing should be used. Two ideas were proposed: 3D glass with integrated louvres and/or fritted glass. The entire roof will now see fritted glass.

Acoustic improvements are intended as well as lighting upgrades.

Upon completion the space is to be rebranded as Ocean Court.



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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

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