The people and ideas that sparked Scotland's industrial innovation.

Summerlee, Coatbridge

Completed: 2008    Budget: 2.6M    Size: 3,000 m


Summerlee, Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, situated around the site of the 19th century Summerlee Ironworks and a restored section of a branch of the Monklands Canal, forms one of Scotland's foremost industrial heritage visitor attractions. Its aim is to preserve and interpret the history of the local iron, steel, coal and engineering industries and the communities that depended on them.

Redman Design was responsible for the redevelopment of the main exhibition hall which now provides a modern, vibrant and environmentally sustainable setting for some of Scotland's most important displays of social and industrial history, including many exceptional restored items previously in storage.

Exhibition Design

Redman Design's redevelopment of the main exhibition hall features working exhibits of industrial machinery such as the huge winding wheel from the neaby Cardowen Colliery and the creation of new interactive displays to engage and inform a broad audience.

The new setting provides the visitor with a much more logical flow through the displays, moving from prehistoric era to the dawn and rise of the industrial revolution and into Lanarkshire's contribution to both Scottish and world engineering. Interactive displays - including a massive interactive reconstruction of a blast furnace - explain the iron-making process and a kids' discovery zone allows youngsters to explore the world of science through hands-on activities and simple experiments.


Redman Design's challenge at Summerlee was to create a graphic solution to unify the whole site whilst highlighting the different themed areas. This was achieved by using a palette of bold colours and iconic images to identify industry themes such as engineering, iron and coal.

The distinctive interpretation panels are designed to catch the visitor's attention amongst the array of huge machinery on display. Many large archival images are also displayed to populate the space and provide a visual history of the people who worked in the local heavy industries. Specially commissioned illustrations throughout the museum help bring to life the people and industries of Summerlee's past.