Design groups work on Yorkshire museum refurbishment project

Yorkshire Museum in York is undergoing a £2m overhaul with permanent exhibition design by Studio MB, Campbell & Co and The One Off. All the consultancies have been commissioned by York Museums Trust.

Campbell & Co has designed the exhibitions Medieval York – The Power and the Glory, and Extinct – A Way of Life. The consultancy is also designing a cinema space which will screen Yorkshire history from the Ice Age to World War II.

The One Off is designing an audiovisual experience on the Learning Level, where themes from other galleries can be explored in detail.
Edinburgh-based Studio MB is working on a permanent exhibition for Yorkshire Museum called Eboracum, which will explore the ethnic diversity of Roman York.

Roman city Eboracum was founded in the area now known as York in 71AD. The exhibition will tell the story of the city through historical
The consultancy responded to a national tender at the end of 2008 and was tasked with showing ’the development of Roman York, from the first forts to a place of empire’, says Studio MB director Charlie Barr.

Over the course of four galleries, panelling has been stripped back and skylights uncovered to let light back into the building. ’In the 1980s everyone thought museums ought to be dark, serious places, but they should be enjoyable,’ says Barr, who points out, ’Only organic matter is damaged by light.’

The four galleries will be themed: Classical Rome; Eboracum – A New Frontier; Eboracum – Life in a Garrison City; and Eboracum – A Place of Empire. Features will include a 2×1.5m doorway holding a touchscreen where a mixed-race character and a ’Yorkshireman’ will join two characters of North African and Scandinavian descent.

Visitors can select and interact with each character on screen before viewing their skeletal remains later in the exhibition.

Yorkshire Museum

  • Yorkshire Museum is undergoing a £2m, ninemonth refurbishment and is scheduled to reopen on 1 August
  • Eboracum is one of five new themed galleries funded through the investment
  • Opened in 1830 by the Philosophical Society as one of the first purposebuilt museums in the UK, it is now run by York Museums Trust and carries out archeological work across York

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