SP3254 : Entrance to British Film Institute storage site

taken 8 years ago, near to Moreton Morrell, Warwickshire, Great Britain

Entrance to British Film Institute storage site
Entrance to British Film Institute storage site
This site was originally acquired in the early 1950's by the Ministry of Defence. Heavy reinforced bunkers were constructed for the assembly and storage of nuclear weapons which would be carried by the V-bombers stationed at RAF Gaydon. In the 1970's the UK nuclear weapons strategy changed from an 'air capable nuclear defence' to a submarine based deterrent, causing the closure of both the airfield and this weapons store.

The British Film Institute purchased the site in 1976 to use as a store for film and media collections, and particularly its nitrate film collection, which is presently stored in a series of buildings constructed in 1979 and 1999. Because it is not possible to extinguish nitrate films if they catch fire, these stores are designed with pressure relief vents to allow ventilation to outside air and the film to burn out safely. Another problem is that chemical reactions cause decay in these films over time. Once film is in an active state of decay, only storage at sub-zero temperatures and low humidity will arrest further decay and prevent ultimate loss.

It has been found that the existing buildings at Lighthorne/Gaydon cannot be upgraded to provide the necessary sub-zero storage conditions, and therefore a new building is proposed on the site. The building has been designed by Edward Cullinan Architects and was given planning permission in June 2010. Called the Master Film Store, the building will hold more than 500,000 cans of films, both the nitrate films and acetate films presently held at the BFI's site at Berkhamsted. The design features a green roof and uses precast concrete panels to provide thermal mass. Work is due to start this autumn for completion by winter 2011.

(Information from planning application to Stratford upon Avon DC, 2010)
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SP3254, 17 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 26 June, 2010   (more nearby)
Saturday, 26 June, 2010
Archives   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 3213 5438 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:11.2041N 1:31.8870W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 3221 5438
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph (Fourth Visitor for SP3254)
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