Redman Design was appointed as design consultant to the Cardiff museum project team to help develop a city museum for Cardiff in the centrally located Grade II* listed Old Library building. The vision was to record, preserve and celebrate this European capital city’s heritage to provide both an introduction to the city for visitors and a valuable community resource for its residents. However, as no such museum had previously existed there was no specific collection of objects to display.
In the Sense of Cardiff gallery we were presented with a historic space with high ceilings and four large decorative pillars. We left two of these exposed and introduced five monoliths to create a bold and unique design that works well to introduce the gallery themes while being in harmony with the scale of the building. Projected images on each monolith reflect key periods in Cardiff’s history with strong colour themes introduced which extend into the gallery and help define key themes.
An automata model of a house reveals the history of domestic life in the city. Modelled on an actual three-storey Victorian Cardiff house, each of its four faces has rooms exposed to show the changing ways of living since the 19th century to the present day.
A significant feature of the gallery is the large interactive model of the docks area where visitors can explore the vast extent of railways, channels and buildings around the docks which have played such an important role in the story of Cardiff. The dock model incorporates multi-layered interpretation with an interactive 3D model, tactile buildings with text, touch screens and audio soundtrack. The model also incorporates low tech children’s interactive drawers containing handling objects, copies of documents and photographs which tell the stories of individual children in Victorian Cardiff.
City Lab has transformed a dark, basement space into a bright, dynamic environment. We remodelled the previously gloomy staircase make an intriguing and attractive route to draw visitors into the gallery.
Within City Lab itself a bright new ceiling and light-coloured flooring creates a feeling of space and airiness. The interactive “action stations” are flexible and can easily be refreshed when necessary.
We worked closely with the museum team to develop concepts for AV and interactive media exhibits throughout the galleries, ensuring the appropriate use of technology and strategic positioning of exhibits to support storylines and provide a change of pace. In collaboration with software and hardware suppliers we ensured our vision was realised and that the objectives of the museum team were delivered. This approach ensured that the AV exhibits are an integrated part of the gallery experience.