The Royal Air Force Museum, London, commonly known as the RAF Museum, is a popular tourist attraction, celebrating the legacy of the Royal Air Force and aviation history. Opened in 1972 at the former Hendon Aerodrome – the opening coincided with the RAF’s fiftieth anniversary.
Fast forward to summer 2018 and the museum celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the RAF with a series of programmes, activities and the completion of an extensive remodel. The £26 million development, part of the RAF Centenary Programme was completed, and a formal reopening was held on Armed Forces Day at the end of June 2018.
The RAF Centenary Programme is a five-year programme designed to connect people to the RAF story, and reimagine the RAF Museum’s London site. Now that the museum has completed most of its significant developments, there remained one issue – accessibility.
Although the site is equipped for most disabled visitors and has several standard accessible toilets, the Museum aspired to exceed compliance standard and the Head of Estates, Andrew Wolstenholme, commissioned an audit. The audit confirmed that the Museum could further improve their accessibility with a Changing Places toilet;
“Even after development of our London site, it was brought to my attention by visitors that they were unable to fully enjoy our attraction because they, or someone they cared for, couldn’t access a suitable bathroom”, says Andrew.
After contacting us, one of our consultants visited the museum and plan was set in motion.
We’re thrilled with the finish. The new bathroom meets the basic human needs of our disabled visitors whilst also helping us achieve our own goals. We want to be able to communicate RAF history and stories to everybody and the new bathroom enables us to do that. We look forward to welcoming guests from all walks of life”.
Lacking a suitable site to install one of our modular facilities wasn’t an issue for the museum; it was found that they had an underused men’s bathroom that they could adapt to a Changing Places toilet.
A plan was drawn up and the museum cleared the space, allowing Changing Places to come in and fit a fully accessible toilet. Working in an old aircraft hangar meant that there was a lot of exposed pipework – our team encased this, installing smooth hygienic walls and a non-slip floor.
The room was then fitted with a peninsular toilet, wash basin, adult size changing bench and a full system track hoist. Lighting, grab rails and signage finished the bathroom, giving the museum a modern, safe space for their disabled visitors.
One of the objectives of the RAF Centenary Programme is to connect with audiences at all levels providing access for all: intellectually, emotionally, aesthetically, physically and socially, and to welcome the world.
A Changing Places toilet helps the museum meet that objective by opening the attraction up to those with multiple or profound disabilities.
With over 30 years’ experience in construction, iHUS are one of the UK’s leading disabled adaptations companies – specialising in the design and installation of Changing Places facilities.
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