Dover Wartime Tunnels exhibition set to open

The Grade I-listed Dover Wartime Tunnels, which have been developed into a visitor experience and exhibition space by light architect Light Bureau and Danish design group Kvorning Design & Kommunikation, are set to open on 10 June.

The design – which was commissioned in April 2010 – is the culmination of a joint proposal submitted to an English Heritage-managed competition.

The tunnels, which span 6km, were a strategic defence point for Operation Dynamo – the evacuation of British and French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk – during World War II.

Parts of the tunnels date back to the Middle Ages and they were also used during the Napoleonic Wars and the Cold War.

A 50m-long tunnel, divided into six bays, tells the story of Operation Dynamo. One area with an interactive machine gun nest allows users to track and shoot down a Messerschmitt plane as it moves across a projected backdrop.

Light Bureau designer Arve Trajei Olsen, whose designs have aided the installations, says, ‘We’ve created a 1940s appearance with modern technology – mainly using LEDs and lighting it all with only 750W.’

The sequenced modular approach means areas are ‘switched on and off and lit as a group walks through’, says Olsen.

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