British Museum

One of the largest redevelopment projects in the British Museum’s history, the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre opened to the public in March 2014 with the first major exhibition on Vikings in over 30 years: ‘Vikings Life and Legend’.

Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, it is a modern, accessible building that features the new Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery, a permanent exhibitions space to house the British Museum’s ambitious and expanding temporary exhibitions programme.

Back to basics

We were appointed to undertake a full review of the internal visitor information and wayfinding, to improve navigation within the Great Court and to and from the new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre and Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery. The brief included front of house visitor information, permanent and temporary signage in the Great Court and visitor flow routes.

The Great Court’s wayfinding was cluttered and lacked focus, impeding visitor navigation. So we removed around half the existing wayfinding totems, or ‘steles’ to improve clarity and accessibility. We also introduced a physical hierarchy throughout the scheme with high level promotional banner graphics in the Great Court and lower level wayfinding and information graphics.

 

 

Also critical was to align the visiting exhibition graphics with those used in the temporary and permanent signage, reinforcing the British Museum’s overall brand identity.

New steles and information desks feature a beacon colour – warm red – which unites the overall scheme, the red chosen following onsite consultation with accessibility groups and users.

Richard Kindersley stone carved the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery threshold signage.