Ideas, inspiration and the latest stories about our work.
At the last count there are 55,000 museums world-wide – the Louvre topping the poll as no.1 most visited, with more than 9m visitors every year.
At home in the UK our museum count sits at 2,500 with the wonderful British Museum coming in at no.5 in the ranking, with 6.7m visitors a year. Pretty impressive figures! And the growth isn’t stopping there. There are some exciting new openings set for 2018 including the much-awaited Lafayette Anticipations in Paris (a mere 23.6k sq. ft) and the opening of the extended Royal Academy of Arts.
These amazing projects are the result of a long-term commitment and investment, taking years to complete. Certainly not for the faint hearted or impatient!
Our own museum project
As specialists in Museum Interpretation, we’re currently working on our own grand design project for the The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.
The old museum is housed in the fort of Ras Al Khaimah, at the heart of the Emirate’s heritage and houses a collection of significant ancient artefacts. Steeped in history, it has stood in the sand for nearly two hundred years and has seen many changes.
The museum is currently only partially open to members of the public and artefacts poorly displayed with no interpretation or stories to bring this fascinating history to life for visitors.
Museum interpretation team
As part of the international interpretation team we’re helping to restore the museum to its former glory, with development of an exciting ‘Master Plan’, for an entirely new world class cultural centre and visitor experience.
It’s important for the people of Ras Al Khaimah and for tourism that the story of its fascinating history is preserved and told. The heritage offering for the Emirate is currently unmapped and untapped so it’s key for this to be developed.
We are working with a blank canvas, so the opportunity and the scale of what this encompasses is exciting and vast.
Location, location, location
The starting point has been to review the geography of the local area and how the museum sits within it. There are in fact 6 heritage sites that are included in the overall project.
This new museum development would become the gateway to the old town, so plans were developed that connected the current museum building to the neighbouring heritage village – also a future development site.
And the plan also reviewed how the Archaeology around the existing building would become a key part of the overall site and experience.
Plans for restoration and reinforcement of the building were required to permit higher visitor traffic to the museum.
Technical plans for air conditioning and climate control to museum standards were also put together. As well as the planning of power supplies and services to support the museum and associated buildings.
From the allocation of rooms for specific purposes and exhibits, to development of key historical themes – the entire visitor journey, experience and flow through the museum needed to be redesigned.
Our part to play
Our responsibility was the creative development and management of the brand identity and all on and off-site communication across the overall RAK heritage site. This included the design and UX across the website, mobile app, social media management, marketing and PR consultancy.
The master plan would take 3 years to deliver so there is an interim job to be done to make the current site more interesting and accessible, whilst the museum is closed. This includes interim interpretation panels, leaflets and other collateral across the 6 heritage sites and ongoing maintenance of the existing website and social media channels.
Once the interim plan is in place, the much bigger task of delivering the new museum will get underway.
If you’re looking for a grand design call…