Trio wins ú12m museum update

Neal Potter Design Associates, Met Studio and Event Communications are the first three design consultancies to be appointed to the ú12m redevelopment project for the Natural History Museum’s Earth Science Galleries.

Neal Potter Design Associates, Met Studio and Event Communications are the first three design consultancies to be appointed to the ú12m redevelopment project for the Natural History Museum’s Earth Science Galleries.

Other designers will be taken on board, according to a museum spokeswoman, for further stages of transforming what was formerly the Geological Museum.

The first phase, created by the three consultancies, should be unveiled by summer 1996.

The London museum is applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for ú6.5m, RTZ Corporation is providing ú1m, and the Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund has awarded a ú300 000 grant. The remainder will come from private sector support.

Currently known as the Earth Science Galleries, the site comprises 5400m2 over three floors. The overall name may change, according to the spokeswoman.

Neal Potter was appointed after a four-way paid pitch for the main atrium space against Imagination, Ian Ritchie Architects and James Gardner Studio. Potter’s concept includes an 11.5m revolving globe encasing an escalator to the upper gallery. This may receive the go-ahead at a meeting today.

Event is designing the Powerful Earth gallery and Met Studio the Restless Surface gallery. These will feature interactive techniques such as erupting volcanoes, boiling lava, fluorescent rocks and underground treasures, according to the museum.

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