Event Communications works on National Army Museum

National Army Museum

Event Communications has been appointed to create a five-year masterplan for the redesign of the National Army Museum in London.

The masterplan, which will be delivered in the summer, will involve creating a structure for the transformation of the museum, including programming, audience development, collection and research strategy, spatial planning and concepts for the redesign of two permanent galleries.

Event chief executive James Alexander says, ’[The museum] has some fantastic collections so we’re going to explore what we can do with them, re-using space and the collections to turn them into a series of stories that are more relevant and create more engagement.’

Event was appointed two weeks ago following a two-stage tender process which began in December 2010.

National Army Museum director Janice Murray says, ’We’ve become increasingly successful over the past six or seven years, so much so that we have a congestion issue and can’t get everyone through the doors who wants to visit.’

The brief involved creating a blueprint for the museum’s extensive redevelopment, which includes a response to the planned new entrance to the building and how this will affect the museum’s footprint, says Murray.

Event will also focus on improving physical and intellectual access to the museum’s collections. Alexander says, ’The museum won’t just be a chronological history, but address what it is like being a soldier, whether that’s being on the frontline or life as a civilian.’

The building itself presents a particular challenge to designers, as it was originally built in two halves with galleries leading off a central stair, meaning previous exhibitions have been structured in quite a linear way, says Alexander.

He adds, ’Army museums, either regimental or national, haven’t had a huge amount of money spent on them in the past couple of years, but now seems the time for them. We owe so much to these men and women.’

Plans for the museum

  • The first of two major permanent galleries that will be redesigned covers the period between 1680 and 1901, while the second focuses on the era of the two World Wars
  • Audience research conducted for the museum has found that visitor motivation is far more diverse than originally thought, something which the masterplan aims to address, says National Army Museum director Janice Murray

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