O’Leary Prescott. designs for Dubai museum launch

A £15m museum is to open in Dubai next week (6 March) with exhibition designs by O’Leary Prescott. Children’s City, covering 9000m2 and eight galleries, is the largest museum of its kind in the Middle East.

A £15m museum is to open in Dubai next week (6 March) with exhibition designs by O’Leary Prescott.

Children’s City, covering 9000m2 and eight galleries, is the largest museum of its kind in the Middle East. For O’Leary Prescott partner Alexandra Prescott, the opening marks the culmination of five years’ work. She started on the project while at the then MET Studio.

Funded by the Dubai government, the museum houses more than 200 interactive exhibitions and displays on science and nature, the human body and Islamic culture, aimed at fiveto 12-year-olds. The exhibition design budget was ‘£50 000-£100 000’, says Prescott.

Having designed the concepts for the exhibitions, O’Leary Prescott worked on a consultancy basis with local contractors. It was the first time Prescott had worked in the Middle East. ‘It was a very interesting learning curve,’ she says. ‘There were obvious sensitivities, but I had no problems as a woman. If you’re a professional, respect is given where respect is due.’ Graphics for the exhibition are in both English and Arabic.

Prescott was originally commissioned to design and co-ordinate the exhibition works by architect Schuster, Pechtold and Partners after the company won a competition to design and build the museum.

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