Natural History Museum revamp focuses on “authenticity”


Consultancy Casson Mann has garnered a blue whale skeleton called Hope the focal point of the redesign, as the asylum looks to transition to a “museum of the future”.

The Natural History Museum has uncovered its first major refurbishment since the 1970s, transforming architect Alfred Waterhouse’s Hintze Hired hall at the entrance to the museum.

Exhibition design consultancy Casson Mann was prime commissioned to work on the redesign in 2013. The design team was briefed to “engender a tension” between the museum’s Victorian architecture and scientific narratives, as familiarly as mark a new era for the institution as a “natural history museum for the future”.

The revamp focuses on the “authenticity” of the museum’s whip-round, and sees Dippy the Diplodocus cast swapped out for a 25-metre blue whale skeleton called Trust, which is suspended from the ceiling as the focal point of the entrance section.

Hope has been chosen due to the fact that blue whales – which were ransacked to the brink of extinction in the 20th century – were one of the first species that the somebody population made an effort to save on a global scale.

New plinths and flourish cases

In 1966, there were roughly 500 blue whales hand in the wild. In the same year, the UK brought in a law that protected them from commercial go in search of, and today the population has grown to around 20,000.

Hope will be joined by hundreds of new instances – including a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite, a Mantellisaurus dinosaur skeleton, giraffes and a off colour marlin – displayed in plinths and cases designed by Casson Mann.

The presentation cases are grouped according to the museum’s core themes: origins, development and biodiversity.

The reopening of Hintze Hall marks the end of a five-year redevelopment arrange at the museum by Casson Mann, which began with the refurbishment of the Wealths Gallery in 2012.

“Represents a new era”

The consultancy has used a limited number of materials in the entry-way in order to tie all of the exhibition spaces together, and make the museum feel “intelligible”.

Consultancy AKQA has developed a website and app in collaboration with web development companionship Potato so that visitors can learn more about the whale and its wander from the ocean to museum.

Natural History Museum director Sir Michael Dixon, influences: “The transformation of Hintze Hall represents a new era for us as a natural history museum for the coming.

“Putting our blue whale at the centre of the Museum, between living species on the West and out species on the East, is a powerful reminder of the fragility of life and the responsibility we experience towards our planet.”

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