Construction of gallery wall

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Shinnya, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi,

    I am not sure if this is the right place to post or not, but I am wondering if anyone has an experience in the actual construction of a gallery space.

    I have been working on this warehouse to create a place for photography enthusiasts. In it, I want to have a gallry space. My question is that if there is any special ways to build gallery walls. Are they just simply drywall?

    Let me know if you have a clue/experience for it. Thanks in advance.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2005
  2. DavidS

    DavidS <div class="smallfont"><strong><em><font color="44

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    >I have been working on this warehouse to create a place for photography enthusiasts. In it, I want to have a gallry space. My question is that if there is any special ways to build gallery walls. Are they just simply drywall?<

    I would think you should use drywall, but use a plywood "skin" outside the wall. Think about it, you're going to be hanging up, taking down, hanging up, taking down framed photos, re-hanging them, hammering in new nails, taking out old screws, etc. I think drywall would crack and break under situations like this. Use a plywood skin, do a good painting job on top of it of a really beautiful, high quality white paint and I think you've got it from there.
     
  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi There

    I have built many gallery spaces, over the last 15 years, They all have been drywall. My latest gallery has Very high ceilings which we used drywall floor to ceiling , good taping and sanding and a couple of coats of quality white paint.
    We splurged and made the floors Bamboo and the space looks great.

    If I had not splurged on the floor, I would have used a system for hanging prints.*Akora* I believe, very ingenious method of hanging prints, slick looking but very pricey.

    After each show we putty the holes that were made and repaint the walls. We change the shows 4-6 times a year so this is not too much of a hassel.

    good luck with your space
    Bob
     
  4. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    Bob,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The drywall can take all the weight of the frame? I just assumed there is something studier behind the drywall, like sheet of a plywood or something, to hold the weight of them.

    So every time you just spackle and repaint? My place has a high ceiling as well like 13' which disguise the narrowness of the space...

    Thanks for your comment again.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi


     
  5. Early Riser

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    One of the best systems I have come across for hanging work in a gallery was at the Edward Carter Gallery in NYC. They hung the framed prints on large, 4x8' wide panels. The panels were made of plywood which was then lightly padded with batting and then covered with a fabric with a slightly coarse weave. The effect was that no matter how many times you put a nail in the panel, it never showed a hole. They never had to paint, the walls always looked perfect and if they sold a large piece off the wall they could easily replace it with any size piece without worrying about moving the nail and leaving an exposed hole. It was also a very attractive way to show art and it also added a certain amount of sound deadening to the room. So many galleries are loud because of all the hard walls and no soft materials.
     
  6. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    I have to visit there to see them...

    I guess it does not have to be conventional walls. I am also up for any interesting ideas like this as well.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi


     
  7. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    Alas Edward Carter Gallery is no more....
     
  8. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Well, I think I should be able to supply you with a good answer - as an architect who's currently building my own gallery and has designed walls for the guggenheim. Generally speaking, you DEFINITELY want some backing behind the drywall. Use the thickest drywall you can possibly deal with - if you have a long run of wall it will pay off. I'm using 5/8" type X (since yours is not a fire-separation wall you don't need to use X) but this is the THINNEST that I would use. The drywall alone won't REALLY cut it - unless you're hanging really light stuff and you're into patching.

    But anyway - most people seem to want to use 3/4" CDX or else 1/2" baltic birch ply (stronger - and not really more expensive actually!). You can either overlay on top of the studs which is EXPENSIVE since you'll have to cover the ENTIRE wall - or else block in between studs only at hanging height. What would be cheaper still, and better - if you're hanging conventional works at a standardized height - is to use 2x12s blocked in between studs at a height that will work for you. If you choose to hang ply or 2Xs between studs - you'll need to screw 2x2s in so the backing material can be screwed into something. (and yes, use screws!! I like deck screws). So the 2x2s will have to be offset by the thickness of the backer.

    Of UTMOST importance is going to be how good your framing is. If it's not dead-on, it will show. This also applies to your plaster work. Do the drywall yourself - but find someone to tape and mud it and DEFINITELY skim-coat the thing. It will really pay off.
     
  9. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Oh - one more thing...
    I'm assuming this is a BRICK warehouse...? If so - you should also bolt the framing into the brick. Use a hilti masonry bit to drill holes for 3/8" Hilti HIT anchors (expensive) or else use red-heads (much cheaper but crappier) to fasten framing directly or else use a heavy gauge steel angle.

    A nice touch is to add some R-13 between the studs too. It works wonders for the acoustics of the space as illogical as it might seem to you. Feel free to ask if you have other questions.
     
  10. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    As an alternative to the Hilti anchors, there are "Tapcon" screws. Use a hammer drill and the proper bit, then the screws will self-tap into masonry or concrete. While the Hilti may be stronger, the Tapcons work well and will save time and money. tim
     
  11. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    Sparky,

    You are the person that I have been searching for this project!

    I have to tell you that I am not expecting Guggenheim-grade gallery wall since I cannot afford it. But my intention is that to do it right as much as I can. Anyhow, it is an old brick building which has about 5500 sq ft. The gallery space is about 5-600 sq ft.

    Right now, I am using light gauge metal studs (25) to frame the parameter of the building, which will be the wall for the gallery. Again the ceiling is 13 1/2' or so.

    There are some walls which needs to be firewall to be shared by a stair to an apartment on 2nd floor (1500 sq ft; we have zoning variance for mixed usage).

    My question is why do you use 5/8" or more (I know the reason for the firewall). Is it purely for the straightness of the wall? (the longest straight wall is 21' or so)

    Also, should I frame with wood studs or not? Or even heavier gauge metal studs for the wall?

    I guess I can go with 2x12 or make blocking with 3/4" plywood. That sounds more durable in terms of the cost.

    I can show you the 3d model that my architect provided for the whole project if you are interested. Thanks again for your time.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi


     
  12. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I'll tell you, I am impressed with those hanging systems that hang rods down from moulding up by the ceiling. Flexible, easy to hang and adjust for any size art and doesn't damage the wall. You can take one show down and hang a completely different one on the same day with no spackling or painting. More $$$ up front but they've got to pay for themselves pretty quick.
     
  13. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Tsuyoshi -
    Are all the walls perimeter wall (apart from the party wall at the stair)? This might tell us more. Metal studs are okay - if the gauge is high enough. i'm just prejudiced because they are so rickety. I greatly prefer wood. It's going to make your life much easier later on to use SOME sort of backing. This is not meant to be any sort of guggenheim-grade (which isn't that fancy itself) - just something serviceable and straight.

    5/8" would be the minimum you would want to use for any sort of wall that is going to be scrutinized in any way. It's much stiffer than 1/2" and therefore straighter - and just looks better. Do you have a plan from the architect in pdf or other format? Can you post the rendering here? If it's too big - just PM me and I'll send you my e-mail. I'll do my best to give you good advice.

    Jonathan
     
  14. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Tapcon + Brick = no.
    Hammer Drill + Brick = no.

    unless you want to bring the building down in an earthquake! You'd really have to go with an expansion bit or else epoxy (my favorite!) in a brick building. But redheads (tapcon MAY have an equivalent - but I'm not familiar with their brick masonry products - only for CMU to my knowledge) are damn cheap and decent if you watch your QC.

    Jonathan
     
  15. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Sparky, just curious about the "no" comment on tapcons and brick construction. As a cabinet maker I would use them when a shear load would not exceed a hanging weight. As far as spotting studs to a wall, aim for the mortar joints and there wasn't a problem (exceptions for crumbling construction, 50 year old very hard concrete, etc. must be understood). In a straight pull (tension) a bit of common sense must be used, as with all construction, but they were a good alternative in many situations for me and a great aid when hands were not always available.

    Perhaps since I didn't usually have to deal with engineering specs for installation and subsequent submittals and inspections I slipped through the cracks? Thanks, tim
     
  16. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Well - it wasn't so much about the tapcons themselves. You could probably find a way to make them work. But using SDS equipment (hammer drills) is a REALLY bad idea with brick. You have no idea what it does to a mortar joint. Granted - it MAY be possible to successfully do it - completely depending on the chemistry of the mortar in question. But the only way would be through extensive testing - ultrasound, x-rays etc... not something I'd want to mess with. If you hung a cabinet on a brick wall with an SDS drill and the wall collapsed - you could very easily find yourself in a MASSIVE lawsuit. I'm probably overstating the case a bit. But you can NEVER be too careful with such things. I live in a brick loft space - I had to hang 4x15" ledgers to support the loft. My engineer suggested 3/4" bent hanger rod - angling down 45 degrees into the wall with a min. penetration of 12". I used a hilti drill - but with the SDS off. It was a bitch - and it took awhile. But it was still do-able. For ANYTHING load-bearing in brick I wouldn't use ANYTHING but epoxy anchors. But for something really light and non-load bearing the compression anchors work okay.

    that's my 2 cents on the subject.

    Regards,
    Jonathan
     
  17. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    But for concrete - it's FINE. It's not too easy for cracks to start propagating in concrete. Not so with brick. I read somewhere this group in england did a structural test (major) with hilti epoxy anchors in brick. With a direct pullout force of approx. 27 tonnes (!!!) the anchor finally failed - and took a six foot section of brick wall with it!

    J
     
  18. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    If you were to use a picture moulding at the top of your walls you can suspend your pictures with clear monofiliment line and a clip to grab the moulding. It's a clean fix ofr a wall that will see alot of use.

    Metal stud and sheetrock is fine as long as you tie the wall into the slab above to keep it stable. If you are laminating a brick wall, use metal Chicago Bar anchored into the brick with a Hilti gun and pins that will penatrate the wall by 1" or if you are a glutten for punishment, drill a 3/16th hole and use fiber plugs n screws in the mortar joints.