Integrating Museum Security As Part Of A £13m Project

As part of Manchester Museum’s largest project in about a generation, we recently increased the gallery’s security to SR3 level protection. Named as ‘Hello Future’, the project aims to develop and transform Manchester Museum.

The museum is classed as a Grade II listed building, meaning it has particular historic and architectural value and is therefore subject to listed building regulations that protect its unique character. The new gallery extension was built to house high-value exhibits, creating a crucial security requirement.

Through unique Lockdown Technology, our Obexion shutters now secure the only points of entry and exit into the gallery space. This meant that traditional methods of a security shutter through an internal manual lock were not feasible.

Lockdown Technology ensures that the Obexion Security Shutters are fully secure without the need for any manual or auxiliary locking, ideal in locations such as these where the shutter is used as the first point of entry & last point of exit.

museum security

To suit the access requirements of the gallery space, the Obexion shutter is operated by an encrypted external keypad controller which is certified for installation on the attack face of the shutter.

Overcoming challenges and how Obexion Shutters enhanced the security level

Purcell were appointed to design the museum’s new gallery and exhibition space. We worked closely with the architects throughout the development, indicating the building’s unique security requirements and offering solutions to the structural limitations the museum presented with regards to physical security.

A total of five Obexion Security Shutters were installed across the museum. Three SR3 shutters were installed over the main walkways into the gallery space, dramatically increasing the security level for the most vulnerable area.

museum security


The nature of the museum required a security measure capable of protecting the premises without impacting the unique and aesthetic design. The aim was to provide a safe yet still visually welcoming environment for a large number of visitors.

Through our intelligent security shutter system, the hood box and guide rails are completely recessed into the ceiling and wall cavities, keeping the Obexion shutters completely hidden from sight when not in use. The result is an extremely sleek finish that complements the museum’s elegant architecture.

The remaining two security shutters were installed over the lift lobby entrances with perforated curtain profiles for vision and ventilation.

museum security

The museum presented an important challenge: most of the locations where the shutters would be placed had very restricted headspace for fitting a traditional roller shutter. Our Obexion’s small rolling size was a significant benefit for this project.

Additionally, one of the shutters was installed into a connecting corridor from the older university building – this meant the locations didn’t have the structural capacity to support a security shutter. We provided security-certified steel frames for these locations.

SR3 level protection

Designed to resist attacks from a deliberate forced entry using bodily force and a wide selection of attack options, the Obexion SR3 Shutter protects facilities facing medium to high risks.

Tested and certified to withstand a deliberate attack lasting up to 20 minutes, the Obexion SR3 Security Shutter is accredited to LPS 1175: Issue 7 Security Rating 3. This security rating can defeat intruders using a wide selection of tools, such as crowbars, axes, and drills.

All of the Obexion Shutters installed in Manchester Museum were provided with Battery Back Ups, allowing operation even in the event of a power failure.

Transforming Manchester Museum

First opened in 1890, Manchester Museum is part of The University of Manchester.

The transformation will include a new exhibition space showcasing Southeast Asian culture, a major new Temporary Gallery that will house travelling exhibitions, a new main entrance, shop, and much-improved visitor facilities.

The 421m2 space will host international shows, drawing visitors from across the North of England who would previously need to travel to London to see shows of such scale.