The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) has launched a tender for the design of a temporary exhibition at its Portsmouth site, as well as a smaller scale exhibition at its Hartlepool site.
The over-arching aim of the exhibition will be to showcase objects and interactives based on HMS Challenger’s famous voyage of 1872-6, with linked content displayed at NMRN Hartlepool.
This was the first oceanographic expedition organized specifically to gather data on a wide range of ocean features, from seawater chemistry and currents, to marine life and the geology of the seafloor. While being colourful and engaging, the exhibition should also highlight the Royal Navy’s commitment to “science at sea”, in the context of the Challenger legacy, according to the tender specification requirements.
Though the smaller Hartlepool exhibition will fall under the same primary theme – World Beneath the Waves – it will focus more on the HMS Trincomalee’s story of circumnavigation. The HMS Trincomalee is still afloat and open to visitors on the site.
Five key themes – discoveries, technology, human stories, legacy and environmental concerns, and hands-on – should be considered during the design phase and reflected in the final output. Core outputs from the project will include the temporary exhibition at the Portsmouth site, provisions for legacy packages for schools/learning and provisions for programming activities which will entice young people, especially women and girls, to STEM careers.
There should also be examples of audio-visual material and innovative digital and physical interactive and permanent digital content for the NMRN website.
The aim of the exhibition is to commemorate the historic voyage of the HMS Challenger and its contributions to oceanographic science while also showcasing the modern-day role of the Royal Navy, which involves supporting science at sea and mapping the sea floor. It should also seek to encourage visitors to find out more about Royal Navy exploration and careers in science.
Explaining how the ocean is key to understanding our changing planet is another key aim. Parts of the exhibition should outline the Royal Navy’s current climate science work and recent research findings about the changing climate.
The exhibition tender will comprise of Phase 1 (Design) and Phase 2 (Manage), with a break between them. The NMRN has planned a budget of £28,000 for Phase 1, which covers RIBA stages 1-4 (preparation and briefing, concept design, spatial coordination, and technical design).
The final budgetary estimate for completing the project – including manufacturing – should not exceed £195,000. NMRN Hartlepool should be part of any full cost proposals.
The proposed space for the exhibition is a 120sqm space in the museum’s Storehouse 10 Galleries, which sits within a refurbished eighteenth-century storehouse. It comprises six Kub2 walls that can be reconfigured to alter display area and direct visitor flow, fixed wall panels around edge of space, seven evolution demountable showcases which can be reconfigured in a variety of combinations, vista cases and a Concord Muse LED track mounted spot lighting system.
The closing date for applications is 12pm on 25 November 2022. The chosen studio can expect the contract to start on 9 December 2022 and run until 31 July 2023.
The proposed opening date for the exhibition is 24 June 2023, after which it will run for one year.
Find more details on the brief and how to apply.