Phase one of a £4.5m development at the Centre for Life in Newcastle has come to fruition under a scheme led by design consultancy and architect At Large.
The centre’s Our World exhibition (pictured) will explore the diversity of human life that lives in a wide variety of environments, demonstrating extreme climates and habitats through more than 20 interactive displays. At Large brought in Kent consultancy Bubble Design to create exhibition graphics and Buckinghamshire-based Light Perceptions to handle the lighting design.
A second development phase will install two more exhibition spaces, entitled Our Past and Our Future, and the three will work together as a single, 1500m2 exhibition, themed around human life.
‘[Our World] starts off with basic human needs and then takes a playful look at the way people have fulfilled those needs in different environments,’ explains At Large director Ned Phillips. ‘Everything is dealt with at a physical, intuitive level, so an ice wall starts with a blast of cold air and the first thing you do is shiver. Then you start to ask, “How people do keep warm in cold conditions?”‘ The exhibition launched last weekend, along with The Dome, a 360-degree theatre that uses digital technology to project immersive films about science issues.
The Centre for Life originally opened in 2000, designed by architect Terry Farrell & Partners and funded largely through the Millennium Commission.