Event Communications and Team Saatchi Events have lost out to French designers Veronique Massenet and Remy Dumas-Prymbault in a pitch to design Fatal Attraction, a travelling natural history exhibition.
Three museums have put together the concept, which looks at animal communication and mating behaviour, and the Euro 1.5m (about £0.9m) budget required to deliver it. Around two-thirds of the budget will go on design, says Museum des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique project leader Michele Antoine.
Forty consultancies from around Europe responded to the initial call for tender and eight were then invited to pitch creative ideas in a second round, says Antoine.
In addition to cost considerations the museums were looking to appoint on the basis of experience in three areas – designing travelling exhibitions, building interactive displays and the ability to present collections, she adds.
Making the final decision was a close run thing, with both UK consultancies submitting strong presentations, according to Antoine. However, cost is believed to been the critical factor in the decision.
Massenet and Dumas-Prymbault have already begun work on the project to a detailed brief, which Team Saatchi Events operations director Allen Cobbod describes as more prescriptive than UK briefs.
Fatal Attraction is due to open in Brussels in October 2003 at the Museum des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique and will then travel to the other two museums involved in the project, the MusÃ©um National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris and the Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Naturalis in Leiden.