6 stunning museums from around the world
Museums are popular through housing objects of historical, cultural or artistic importance, appealing to locals and tourists in the areas in which they are situated. We take a look at six stunning museums which provide unique designs, continue to drive high numbers and create long lasting experiences for visitors.
Vatican Museums, Italy
Opened up to visitors in the early 2000s, the Vatican Museums are one of the most popular tourist attractions within Italy and is one of the largest in the world,
Founded by the Pope Julius II in the 16th century, the museum comprises 54 galleries and Sistine Chapel, incorporating classical sculptures and Renaissance works by renowned figures Raphael and Michelangelo.
The Louvre, Paris
Opening in 1793, the Louvre Museum in Paris is the largest museum in the world, incorporating collections from different periods comprising over 20,000 artefacts.
Originally constructed as under Phillip II in the 12th century, the museum has had to undergone extensive renovation works to incorporate the increased number of tourists; however, it is still one of the most unusual museums with its glass façade.
Royal Ontario Museum, Canada
The Royal Ontario Museum in Canada is an iconic tourist site within Toronto, becoming an instant success upon its opening in 1914.
With over one million visitors per year and over five million artefacts, the museum has a variety of galleries and collection of art pieces, but has undergone restoration and expansion to cater for the increased demand for space.
Potala Palace, Tibet
Originally founded in the seventh century, the Potala Palace in Tibet has been turned into a museum, after previously being the residence of the Dalai Lama until his the 1950s.
Constructed at over 12,000 feet, the museum has become a World Heritage Site and is visited by over a thousand visitors per day.
The museum contains Buddhist artefacts, relics, statues and murals.
Cancun Underwater Museum, Mexico
With over 500 sculptures, the Cancun Underwater Museum in Mexico is unusual, where visitors can snorkel or scuba dive to take a closer look at the sculptures below.
Constructed due to the result of tourist impact and damage to coral reefs, the museum comprises of three galleries, where the statues will incorporate natural marine life and support the development of the reefs within the area.
Salvador Dali Museum, Florida
Situated in St Petersburg, the current Salvador Dali Museum opened in 2011. The museum is spread over three floors, with a glass dome at the entrance, containing over a thousand pieces of glass.
Designed by architect Yann Weymouth, the museum also incorpates a spiral staircase, library and an array of Dali merchandise.
Read the September 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
Research reveals 164% rise in searches for loft conversions
Market research conducted by building supply specialist Insulation4Less has revealed that searches for ‘Loft Conversions’ rose by a staggering 164% between May and June of this year, while searches for ‘Loft Conversion Ideas’ jumped by 186% as people spend more time on home renovations this summer.
The company also found that the most popular use for a loft conversion is for an additional bedroom, while an extra bathroom was the second-highest search term. Walk-in wardrobes came in third, beating out a home office in fourth while converting a loft into a home cinema round off the top five.
According to a recent study, a loft conversion can add roughly 20% to the value of a property. With the average UK house price standing at £267,000 in January 2021, this represents an average increase in value of more than £53,400.
Johnpaul Manning, Managing Director of Insulation4Less, said: “If the last year has taught us anything, it's that having space is essential to our mental health and wellbeing, so it's no surprise that people are taking the time to focus on home improvements to help them make the most of their home.
As one of the most under-utilised areas in any property, loft conversions represent a great opportunity to maximise the use of space that not only improves quality of life but also has the capacity to add value to the home”, he said.
Manning added that it's important to remember that a loft conversion isn't just your average DIY project, and should never be done on the spur of the moment. “A significant amount of planning needs to happen to make it a reality, and an understanding that life can be disrupted while the build is taking place.
“While it's definitely a worthwhile project, I'd recommend that anyone considering a loft conversion should do some in-depth research to really understand what's needed to make it a reality”, Manning said.
Is Your Loft Suitable For a Conversion?
While loft conversions do look amazing and add an extra element to a property, not all homes may be suitable. Insulation4Less says that this is due to a variety of factors.
“It's important to make sure that your roof is structurally sound enough to handle a conversion”, the company said. Although there are different types of roof structures, they mostly fall into two distinct categories: a traditional roof, and a trussed roof.
A traditional roof: was typically found in pre-1960s houses. Rafters on traditional roofs run along its edges, leaving a good amount of free space. However, they might still need new or extra support. Trussed roofs, on the other hand, have ‘W’ shaped rafters that support the roof and the floor structure. Even though truss roofs may appear to be harder to convert, it’s not impossible; the ‘W’ shaped rafters can be replaced with an ‘A’ shape structure which creates a hollow space. While this can add additional costs, it could be a worthy investment, so take this into consideration during your planning process.
“Another thing to consider is the roof's height and pitch, and how that will impact the amount of space you’ll have. You’ll need a minimum height of 2.2m to ensure proper clearance. While you might be happy to settle for something a little shorter on paper, make sure your happy with the height you have and the effect it could have on the enjoyment of the space”, Insulation4Less advises.
The company recommends doing research before going to an architect or contractor. “Ultimately, look for other conversions on your street or in similar properties, and if you feel comfortable, ask if you can have a look and discuss how their project came together - you’ll find a wealth of information that could really help your own project in the future”.
Information credit: Insulation4Less.