English Heritage is on the brink of appointing a design consultancy to theme its Stonehenge visitor centre, following the appointment of international architect Denton Corker Marshall to design the building.
Five exhibition specialists have been shortlisted to design installations and provide a consistent theme to the project: Land Design, Exhibition Plus, Event Communications, John Csaky Associates and Jack Rouse. A consultancy will be selected shortly, says project manager John Vimpany, who is overseeing the entire scheme.
English Heritage has not yet decided whether to appoint an interior design consultancy to work alongside the chosen exhibition group, but any appointment will be much further down the line, adds Vimpany.
“We are keen to make an exhibition specialist appointment as early as possible,” he says. “The visitor centre is being constructed from the ‘inside out’ and the exhibition designers will work with our architect to make best use of the allocated space. The theming of the centre is as important as the building itself,” he adds.
English Heritage chairman Sir Neil Cossons says the organisation’s vision for the centre is to “defer to the local landscape and make the transition between the modern and ancient worlds”. He had described the existing Stonehenge visitor facilities as “disgraceful” (DW 1 December 2000).
The centre is designed to open to the public in 2006.