Redman Design has landed a six-figure brief to create displays for Leeds’ first dedicated municipal museum since the 1940s, with architect Austin-Smith Lord retained to design the building.
The win, secured on the back of a six-way pitch in March, will see Redman create displays, including computer interactive, audio visual facilities and signage for the £26m Leeds City Museum, which opens in 2007.
A consultancy will be sought for branding and identity work for the new museum closer to opening, according to City Museum project development officer at Leeds City Council Martin Gresswell.
Redman’s brief, says partner John Redman, is to provide a contemporary feel in sympathy with the Leeds Institute, the Grade II-listed building designed in the 1860s by Cuthbert Brodrick that will house the museum.
‘We need to create a 21st-century museum, but everything needs to be done sensitively because English Heritage will be taking a view on things,’ he says.
Gresswell adds that the new museum must serve to reinforce Leeds’ image as a ‘rising major European city’.
Exhibits will include local artefacts that record Leeds’ history as a leading light in areas such as printing and textiles since the Industrial Revolution.
Also on display at the museum will be archaeological exhibits donated throughout Leeds’ history by wealthy local industrialists.
These include an ancient Egyptian mummy, as well as Roman and prehistoric relics.
Last summer, Leeds City Council won £19.5m stage one Heritage Lottery funding for the project. This was matched by a further £6.5m provided by the council.
Redman is now helping the council to secure stage two funding, with applications set for submission imminently.
Leeds’ original city museum was bombed out during the Second World War.
Since then, exhibitions have been shown on an ad hoc basis at disparate public venues.