Imperial War Museum

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Bronze hand rails were added to the building steps with concealed LED lighting which subtly improve the lighting levels during the evening hours. All design work was evolved with the agreement of the Building Conservation Officer.

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Information desk viewed from the exhibition atrium. We integrated the services, IT and electrical cabling and concealed the hundreds of audio headsets from public view. The result is a professional, strong appearance which however does not dominate the exhibits or space.

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Low iron glass lockers with cloak room beyond. The Museum caters for many families with young children so we allocated space for a “buggy park”. The signage was subtle and laid back. We relied on symbols rather than text .

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Lighting to the high level relief above the reception desk. Uplighting is concealed within the partitions and joinery units giving an uplifting sense in what was previously a gloomy space.

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We created an office to the rear of the reception space for visitor managers and assistants. This brought them close to the action whereas previously their office was remote from the entrance. The backlit Welcome sign was etched out of white glass. The front counters have a white glass cladding and low iron internally lit glass boxes with exhibition guide recesses.

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The museum atrium seen from the “Welcome Desk”. The original information desk was set back fifty meters from the entrance which meant visitors often got lost before they made it to the desk. Now every visitor passes the desk which means they often come back for further information after they have been to see an exhibit.

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Prior to concept design we spoke to all the project stakeholders about their requirements. We studied the workflows about their requirements. We studied the workflows and identified both the constrains and opportunities.

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We conducted time studies and close analysis of visitors to the Museum. As part of the briefing process we identified the bottlenecks and, through a dialogue with the client, we were able to work up logical improvements.

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A number of quick sketches were produced to explore colour, form, sightlines all to demonstrate how the project would engage with the public.

The Imperial War Museum exists to document and educate new generations about the origins and experience of both world wars in the last century.

This important national institution is located in Lambeth Road, just south of the river. The building was originally a hospital but converted to a museum just after the First World War.

We designed , re-planned and project managed a refurbishment of the reception and entrance facilities for the Imperial War Museum, London. The aim of the refurbishment, known as “the Welcome Project” was to improve the visitor experience. During the early stages we met with the Museum stakeholders to establish the performance brief. The first stage was to identify the issues around way-finding, security, exhibitions, cloaks, left luggage, disabled persons access, lighting, museum information and visitor orientation, selling of museum guides, museum donations, IT, access to WCs, night time events, queue management, etc. The briefing process was the most extensive that we have undertaken on any project! The analysis showed that not all of the requirements were possible due to budget and space restrictions. The priorities were centred on the visitor and the project succeeds in creating a feeling of space and gives the facilities a visual clarity. In particular the access was improved for the many war veterans who come to visit the Museum from all over the world.

The Imperial War Museum is a listed building of historic importance. We had to have extensive dialogue with the conservation officer to ensure all the proposed works respected the building fabric and did not take away from the architectural merit of the building.

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A number of quick sketches were produced to explore colour, form, sightlines all to demonstrate how the project would engage with the public.

arrow-left arrow-right 1 of 1

A number of quick sketches were produced to explore colour, form, sightlines all to demonstrate how the project would engage with the public.