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The Ashmolean Museum Cast Gallery

Rewiring and relighting of galleries and storerooms – Completed 2010

In 2010 the Ashmolean Museum completed another stage in its transformation thanks to the opening of the Cast Gallery. This is one of the country’s biggest collections of plaster casts, taken from the monuments and sculptures of the ancient world. Now the Cast Gallery, once a separate building, is an integral part of the museum and has been completely redisplayed.

The Ashmolean cast collection began in 1884 and was displayed in its own purpose-built gallery in 1960. Until then visitors to the Cast Gallery had to leave the main museum building and go around to the back to get in, which was less than ideal for such an important collection. Now the gallery has been joined to the ground floor of the rest of the museum, and there’s a large break-through in the gallery’s external wall.

The project integrated the cast collection with those of the museum’s Ancient World Galleries, finally letting visitors see the sculptures of the ancient Mediterranean in their wider cultural and historical contexts. The collection is invaluable for teaching a range of subjects, vital for artists and for members of the public who, through these displays, enjoy access to sculpture from all over the world.

The refurbishment included gutting the original galleries, fixing the plaster walls and ceilings, sanding and sealing the beautiful parquet floors, major rewiring, installation of a security and fire detection system, plus gallery design and promenade relighting.

Praise for Monard’s work

“As a project on a tight budget, the Cast Gallery refurbishment had to be swift and accurate. The knowledge of Monard and the ability to work to the high standards of the University of Oxford meant that the project ran smoothly and was completed on time and on budget. The funding body was impressed with the results and has funded the Museum for other subsequent projects, which is essential for the Ashmolean to continue developing and refreshing its displays for its wide audiences.”

Victoria McGuinness – Ashmolean Museum Project Manager (2007-2014)

You can find out more in the media.

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Ashmolean Museum – Randolph Sculpture Lighting Upgrade

Randolph Sculpture Gallery lighting upgrade for Beard Construction – Completed 2012

Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum is the world’s first university museum, built from 1678–1683 to house the cabinet of curiosities given to the museum by Elias Ashmole in 1677. The museum reopened in 2009 after a major redevelopment and, in late 2011, new galleries focusing on treasures from Egypt and Nubia were unveiled.

The lighting upgrade was carried out in close collaboration with the museum. We installed new track lighting and architectural lighting, a Hoare Lea scheme involving clever track-mounted LED spotlights, including the Type X from Mike Stoane Lighting and the DR2 by Remote Controlled Lighting. The track we used coordinated sympathetically with the decorative ceiling cornice straps, and we developed special brackets for remote control lighting to ensure close coordination with the cornice straps and the track system. The resulting installation was both minimal and neat.


Praise for Monard’s work

“The Randolph Sculpture Gallery is one of the most iconic spaces in the Museum and is regularly used for a variety of different events and is particularly popular for weddings. We therefore needed a flexible scheme that provided both world-class lighting for the Arundel marbles during the day but was also appropriate for evening events. A great challenge which has been met by this remarkably flexible lighting scheme which enhances the architecture, highlights the collections and enables us to have wonderful evening events.”

Harry Phythian-Adams, Executive Officer


“The Ashmolean is delighted with the lighting scheme, the space shows the Ashmolean’s world renowned Arundel Marbles, which are now displayed in a gallery which is beautifully integrated into the Ashmolean’s new Ancient World floor.”

Professor Christopher Brown CBE, Director Ashmolean

“We were tasked with a general refurbishment of the Randolph Gallery with a completion deadline set in stone to accommodate an important function. The lighting and electrical works formed the major part of these works and were crucial to the success of the project. We worked in partnership with Monard, the Museum and consultants to develop and deliver the scheme ahead of time and to a high standard which the customer was delighted with. Monards were key to the success of this project and the approach of both
office and site staff was excellent. They were flexible & considerate on site in the difficult environment of working in a live museum and their technical input and advice to overcome design issues was a invaluable in achieving the overall success of the scheme.”

Nick Bradley, Beards Construction

You can find out more about the project here.

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Christ Church – Cathedral Lighting – An ongoing Project


Back in 1998 we installed the Cathedral lighting at Christ Church. In 2019 we we were brought back in to upgrade and update the ageing system, which was no longer suitable for the environment. The solution was a complex phased lighting refurbishment.

Phase I works involved isolating and removing the North Aisle capital lights and the North Transept Clerestory lights before installing new LED lighting along with emergency lighting. We installed bespoke enclosed LED tape around the capitals of the North Aisle, high powered LED spots on the Clerestory of the North Transept, converted the Stall lighting in the Latin Chapel and installed high powered spot lights in the Watching Loft.

We carried out wiring using MICC cables and FP200 cabling, predominantly installed around the containment route on the Clerestory where a special harness and equipment was required for mobility. All the new lighting is scene functionable, with every circuit Bluetooth controlled via the Cathedral operator’s tablet.

Phase II works involved isolating and removing the lights in the South Aisle, the Choir Stalls, the Nave and the underside of the Organ Loft, then installing modern lighting to replace them. We incorporated the new lighting into the existing emergency lighting system using change over and hold off relays, and the same type of LED tape was installed around the capitals of the South Aisle.

We installed high powered spot lights on the Clerestory level of the Nave and recessed spot lights to the underside of the Organ loft. And we upgraded all the Nave Choir stall lighting from hot, inefficient halogen lamps to cool, high powered LED chips, with incorporated Bluetooth dimmer modules as an integral part of the circuitry.

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University of Oxford – Department of Physiology, Sherrington building


Main corridors – Lighting Refurbishment Project – Completed 2018

We were delighted to design and install a new LED Lighting system with automated controls to the main corridors in the prestigious Sherrington building.

The contemporary suspended luminaires in the corridors were supplied by Zumtobel lighting, controlled via a smart lighting control system supplied by Ex-or. And we also installed Zumtobel Online Resclite luminaires to provide highly effective emergency lighting to every corridor. As a result the overall look is much cleaner and brighter, as well as being a great deal more energy efficient.

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University of Oxford – Sherrington Building – Lighting Refurbishment


Lighting Refurbishment Project – Completed 2018

We were asked to design and install a new LED Lighting system within the Physiology department’s library, installing new LED lighting and controls so the room could be used for meetings and lectures as well as reading and studying.

We used suspended luminaires supplied by Zumtobel lighting, complete with up lights on the book cases from ACDC lighting, all controlled via a superb smart lighting control system from Casambi.

The architectural nature of the library meant we had to re-use the existing wiring system, and couldn’t actually change the positions of the old lights. So we used Casambi controls to programme individual lights for various scene settings, via Bluetooth technology. Now the library has been transformed into the ideal meeting room for all sorts of circumstances, featuring a highly flexible lighting system that’s also wonderfully simple to use.

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University of Oxford – Sherrington Building – Staircase Lighting


Relighting of east and west staircases – completed 2018

The existing lighting illuminating the Physiology department’s staircase was very poor, making the space look dull and drab. It was our job to remove the existing luminaires and controls, then provide and install new lighting and controls to improve the illumination of the east and west stairs. It was also important to light the artworks on the walls.

We used Fagerhult Limburg pendant luminaires to hang from the staircase ceilings, designed to deliver a brilliant spiral effect made of globe LED lights and spanning all the floor levels. And we brought Simes up and down wall LED lights and Zumtobel Supersystem II LED spot light modules into play to create an even brighter, more inviting space.

The Smart control system we used came from EX-OR, designed to give absence and light level control to both staircases. And Zumtobel Online Resclite luminaries provided top class emergency lighting to both staircases.

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Rothermere American Institute


Lighting Refurbishment Project – Completed 2017

We were commissioned to complete the LED Lighting replacement project in Oxford University’s beautiful Rothermere American Institute library. The project included the replacement of every luminaire in the building, and was beautifully designed by Steve Fleming from Foreman Roberts consultants.

The luminaires in many areas were supplied by Zumtobel lighting and controlled via a smart lighting control system supplied by Ex-Or. The unique architectural nature of the building – which is exposed concrete with a dramatic atrium featuring floor to ceiling windows – meant we had to get creative with the design, dreaming up effective bespoke solutions to re-wire 15,000m of cabling and install more than 500 new luminaires.

Since we finished the works the library has seen a dramatic drop in energy use, while improving the user experience and making a more suitable atmosphere for the students.

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