"Wonderful: it's bright, it's exciting, it's stimulating."
Francine Stock, Chair of the Gulbenkian Prize judges.

Weston Park Museum, Sheffield

Completed: 2006    Budget: £3.8m    Size: 1600 m²

Overview

Redman Design was commissioned to work alongside building design and museum teams to bring together the former Mappin Art Gallery and City Museum to create a new museum and centre for learning for 21st century Sheffield. The museum has been transformed into a family-friendly centre for learning, where visitors can enjoy exploring the superb collections. Our design allows people to engage with and reflect on Sheffield’s past, while interactive elements bring beautiful, varied and unusual treasures to life. The annual target of 120,000 visitors was met within six weeks of re-opening in October 2006.

Weston Park Museum won a Museum & Heritage Award in 2007 and the Guardian Family Friendly Museums Award, 2008. The museum was shortlisted for the 2007 Gulbenkian Prize.

Exhibition Design

Every gallery at Weston Park Museum has its own personality. Key to avoiding visitor fatigue and the sense of having 'seen it all before' Redman Design and the client team took a decision early in the project to create clearly differentiated gallery spaces. This change of pace and atmosphere helps to propel visitors through the museum with the promise of something new to discover. This approach to the design of the galleries continues through to the displays themselves where we have used a wide variety of carefully balanced interpretative techniques to tell the myriad stories in the museum.

Graphics

At Weston Park Museum Redman Design created six new galleries covering a range of subjects from life in the Arctic to decorative arts. The challenge was to create a graphic scheme that served to both unify the site and celebrate the individuality of each of the galleries. Core story and object labels were based on a graphic suite that shared key design elements. This created a consistency in presentation that assisted in making the interpretation highly accessible. The individual character of each gallery was supported by using large scale graphics in a variety of ways to support the gallery stories, for example a large photo mosaic to represent local biodiversity in the 'What on Earth' gallery or a series of commissioned illustrations to support the 'Spirit of Sheffield' story.

Signage

The signage package developed for Weston Park Museum incorporates both interior way-finding as well as external signage. Redman Design worked closely with the client team to develop and test the signage scheme, ensuring locations and information were optimised. High quality materials and innovative solutions are specified throughout to create a high quality solution that reflects the offer of the museum. Redman Design drew on the experience of the signage contractor to develop integrated plasma screens and individually illuminated letters with the signage system. Bold colour is used throughout to define and identify, creating a highly effective bespoke signage solution.