New outfit for Museum of Costume

The Museum of Costume in Bath is to relaunch in 2007 after receiving a full-scale facelift by museum design specialist Haley Sharpe Design. The consultancy is currently blueprinting concepts after winning a five-way pitch for the work this spring.

The museum is home to an extensive range of costume and accessories exhibits, dating from the 16th century to the present day. The collection is held in the undercroft of the city’s 18th century Assembly Rooms building, but according to Haley Sharpe creative director Jan Faulkner, the current environment is doing little to promote exhibits.

‘There are some really staggering collections, definitely up there with the collections of the national museums. Unfortunately, the lighting is bad, the space is gloomy and the cases are no longer up to international standards,’ he says.

Faulkner is putting together the plans for an overhaul of the entire space. The brief is still developing, as the possibilities of physically restructuring the building present themselves, he says. ‘We are working with the structural engineers to see what we might be able to do with the space,’ he adds.

The concepts will be completed at the end of this month, after which a two-year refurbishment will begin.

Haley Sharpe is responsible for the complete design and build of the collection space and will develop thematic areas, interactivity and IT installations.

The consultancy will also refresh the shop, signage and graphics for the museum.

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