Project Description

The Science Museum Group

The Science Museum Group consists of 5 museums across the UK; the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Railway Museum in York, Locomotion in County Durham and the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. Field and our sister company, Resolution Interiors, worked in collaboration to redesign and deliver the major refurbishment works on 4 out of 5 SMG sites. The Science Museum in London was the largest project in scope with works taking place in; staff break out spaces and canteens, offices, toilets and introducing the Museums first Changing Places facility.

Services: Brief, Concept Design, Design Development, Technical Design, Specification Manual, Manufacture, Installation + Build
Design Team
Concept Designer: Field
Technical Designer: Resolution Interiors

The Brief

Some existing public facilities did not reflect the Science Museum Group’s commitment to be inclusive and accessible for all visitors. This project was an excellent opportunity to provide high quality, accessible and fit-for-purpose facilities across the museums. The project objectives were to:

  • Improve accessibility through the creation of Changing Places and upgraded accessible facilities.
  • Provide visitors and staff with fit-for-purpose facilities and increase visitor/staff satisfaction.
  • Improve the sustainability of the estate through low energy, low water solutions and durable equipment choices.
  • Standardise facilities and equipment across sites where possible, for ease of maintenance, efficiency, and brand alignment.
  • Address longstanding building infrastructure and capacity issues and deliver solutions that will work for the long term.

Making the space work

Field carried out the design work for this project, working collaboratively with the Resolution Interior’s build team throughout. The design supplied a set of well-designed spaces that meet the needs of their primary users, whether that be staff, visitors, or both, adopting hard-wearing materials and finishes that are durable and easily cleaned in response to high traffic.

The design was functional yet stylish, to ensure that equipment can be updated and maintained easily by SMG’s Estates Team. The concept was considered to achieve a unified look and feel across the entire Science Museum Group, whilst also standardising finishes and fittings.

A fresh, new look

The team have delivered a clean, contemporary, and welcoming look, that is uncluttered to ensure ease of use. Although the historical nature of the buildings meant certain works were not permitted, actions such as unblocking windows and raising ceiling heights helped spaces uncover some hidden architectural features and reintroduce natural light.

The design of the spaces provided flexibility to adhere to any government-issued coronavirus legislation, such as social distancing, whilst favouring sustainable approaches, such as sustainably sourced, recyclable materials and low energy and low water use equipment.  We worked collaboratively with the museum project teams and accessibility advocates to provide excellent experiences for all visitors and colleagues.

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