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Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK

The Ashmolean, Britain's oldest public museum, has undergone a dramatic £61 million redevelopment and provides a spectacular backdrop for Armourcoat polished plaster.  The museum’s seemingly untouched nineteenth century exterior belies the transformation within.  A modern six storey extension – invisible from the street – has effectively doubled the exhibition space boasting 39 new galleries, an education centre, offices and rooftop restaurant.
 
Designed by Rick Mather Architects, the museum’s extension has at its core a great central staircase, linking the tiers of galleries and the rooftop restaurant.  White Portland stone stairs are set into a gleaming cliff face of Armourcoat ‘Armuralia’ polished plaster, which acts as focal point for the overall layout. 
‘Armuralia’ is an exquisite silky smooth plaster finish with subtle tonal variations.  It is an entirely natural product made from aged lime putty and crushed Bianco Carrara marble and contains almost no VOCs.  As a ready mixed marble stucco paste, the material is trowel applied to create smooth or finely textured finishes which resemble polished stone in their appearance, hardness and feel to the touch.   ‘Armuralia’ is available in a range of 24 colours, custom colours and special effects can also be developed for bespoke applications.
 
Over 450m2 of hand-applied Armourcoat decorative plaster was specified for the atrium and staircase area, and together with the oak floors and enclosed glass bridges, has created a contemporary interior defined by space and light.