Science Museum plans £64m site

The Science Museum is readying plans to turn a series of former aircraft hangars full of archived objects into a £64m national museum called Inspired that will open in 2010. It has revealed a brand identity created by Leeds consultancy Thompson for the venue, along with digital design by Ico Design Consultancy.

Based on a former World War II site just outside Swindon, the new museum would open up access to the 92 per cent of the Science Museum’s collection of science and innovation objects that are currently held in storage. The 182ha site will focus on routes to ‘informal learning’ for visitors, using its 200 000-strong collection.

Organisers of the project will attempt to secure funding from the Big Lottery Fund in a nationally televised public vote airing on ITV’s Living Landmarks programme this winter. Thompson’s branding will be used to present the project to the public in a campaign leading up to the programme’s broadcast.

The consultancy was appointed to the work following a creative proposal and credentials presentation to Science Museum parent organisation National Museum of Science and Industry in spring 2006.

According to Thompson managing director Phil Dean, the consultancy has designed a range of elements which the Science Museum can now implement to promote the project to stakeholders and the public. ‘It was essential that the identity capture the inspirational nature of the collection. It has to be a shortcut to visitors understanding what the museum is about and [must] ensure that the place feels accessible to all,’ says Dean.

Should Inspired fail to secure the Big Lottery Fund award, the project is expected to proceed, but ‘at a slower rate’, says Dean.

A website for the planned museum, designed by Ico, can be found at

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