Building Restoration

Protection from the Sun

Sir John Soane’s collection needs protection from the sun and the harmful ultra violet rays it emits. The human eye cannot see UV light but it is very damaging. Works on paper, textiles and wood are particularly vulnerable. UV rays can cause brown scorching to the surface of works on paper and fading and dulling to colours and dyes in textiles and wood for example. These UV rays are the same ones which can burn our skin if we do not wear sun cream. UV film is the collection’s sun cream equivalent!

Over the last two years and with sponsorship from two generous Patrons of the Museum we have installed UV film on all the windows and skylights in interiors in No. 13 containing works on paper.

This month, Sun-X a specialist installation company came to the museum to install the final sections of UV film on the main staircase skylight and on the Picture Room roof. The UV film protects the objects within the room by absorbing 99.9% of the UV rays, and also significantly reduces the levels of ‘solar heat gain’ which can also be harmful to the collection.

17th October 2011

Two men working on the roof of the Soane, installing UV filtering sheets to the light wells and windows


























Specialised workmen installing ultra violet film on the Picture Room Roof
Photograph: Conservation Department