Case Study:

Imperial War


C.R. Laurence's TAPER-LOC® System has facilitated a speedy and simple installation of a new glass balustrade system at one of the UK's most iconic museums.

With over 1 million visitors through its doors in 2010, The Imperial War Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. The Museum opened its newly refurbished Lord Ashcroft Gallery recently, which houses the 'Extraordinary Heroes' exhibition at a cost of £5 million - the first major permanent gallery at the museum for over ten years.

The new gallery, which contains the world's largest collection of Victoria Crosses, provides visitors with a range of interactive touch-screens and state of the art video montages and sound clips depicting life stories and actions of war heroes and soldiers.

Redevelopment of the gallery was project managed by contractors Jerrum Falkus Group who carried out high level refurbishment and fitting out works.

"As main contractors, we carried out the initial enabling works before the final exhibition fit out. This involved new mechanical and electrical services and external plant deck, new curtain walling system, new entrance doors front and back and new wall panelling and ceiling covering plus an emergency exit stairwell at one end of the gallery."

Steve Lynch, Project Surveyor at Jerrum Falkus

The design for the emergency exit staircase included a glass balustrade railing system, glass opening gate and the construction of steps leading to an emergency exit door. As well as providing a critical evacuation route, it was important that that the design blended into its surroundings, giving a modern, light and clean feel to the area.

C.R. Laurence is the leading supplier to the glazing, railing, architectural and construction sectors, and its TAPER-LOC® System was used to ease installation of a glass balustrade system within the gallery which was supplied and installed by entrance and security specialists, System2000 Group.

C.R. Laurence's beautiful frameless, dry glaze balustrade system enabled System2000 to install 19mm toughened glass with accuracy, speed and efficiency, giving clean lines and a seamless finish to the final installation.

"This was our first installation with the new system and the finished product looked superb. The architect and the client were very pleased with the outcome and C. R. Laurence was very supportive. We found the installation to be of quality, simple and straight forward."

Robert Rowley, Works Director at System2000 Group

The TAPER-LOC® System conforms to BS6180:1999 and BS6399-1:1996 and is more than 50% faster than alternative methods and is also completely unique, in that it uses a horizontal Taper-Loc design, which allows the system to be adjusted, dismantled and re-set. This gave the installers the flexibility and control they needed on site for accurate installation and will make replacing scratched or broken panels effortless in the future.

Using the TAPER-LOC® Tapers and C.R. Laurence's exclusive TLK9 installation/removal tool, the installers mechanically slid the tapers horizontally into the base shoe, compressing them together. Once compressed, it then expanded in thickness and locked into place. When the correct tension was applied, the torque wrench then clicked and brook for a few degrees of rotation. The same tool can also be used to loosen the Tapers for glass alignment or replacement.

A carefully controlled environment such as a museum gallery needs sensitive thought to reduce disruption and the effects of construction on its exhibits and external environment. As the TAPER-LOC® System required no cement, this significantly reduced unnecessary mess and untidiness so the installation had limited effect on its surroundings.

The gallery has proven popular with visitors since it opened its doors to the public and the new emergency exit now provides an escape route which meets health and safety requirements, whilst blending into the overall look and feel of this unique space.

For more information, and to receive a TAPER-LOC® System brochure, call free on 00 800 0421 6144, visit C.R. Laurence's website at or email