DHA Designs provided lighting schemes for both the majestic central Hintze Hall, and the coinciding exhibition Whales: Beneath the Surface. To accompany the The Natural History Museum’s unveiling of the new Blue Whale in the Hintze Hall, a new exhibition opened at the same time emphasising the museum’s shift in emphasis from extinct marvels to endangered wonders.
Whales: Beneath the surface provides visitors with the chance to encounter some of the largest objects in the museums vast collection, and to reveal the complex lives of the biggest animals on the planet. On display there are more than 100 specimens which range from huge skeletons, skulls and most impressively the preserved flipper of a blue whale.
Whales: Beneath the Surface. ©Natural History Museum
The exhibition is open until February 28, 2018 at Natural History Museum, East Lawn, Exhibition Rd, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom.
DHA Designs have provided the lighting scheme for a new porcelain-tiled entrance and underground exhibition hall at the Victoria and Albert Museum with AL_A. The V&A Exhibition Road Quarter opened to the public on 30 June 2017 and includes a new entrance to the museum along with additional gallery space and a courtyard.
The £54 million scheme by London based firm Amanda Levete Architects is the largest development at the museum for over 100 years and provides over 6,000 square metres of additional space.
DHA provided the lighting scheme for the entrance facade, Sackler Courtyard, new entrance interior and the underground Sainsbury gallery.
Exhibition Road entrance ©HuftonCrow
New Entrance Interior ©HuftonCrow
After a three-year design and construction process, the Hintze Hall was opened to the public on the 18th July. The star of the space is Hope, the female blue whale who beached in Ireland, 126 years ago. Hope has been hung in a dynamic, diving pose, to greet visitors as they come through the entrance doors to the museum. DHA Designs worked with the renowned exhibition design company, Casson Mann, on re-lighting the entire hall and the new exhibits, which showcase some of the star items in the Natural History Museum’s enormous collections of flora and fauna.
DHA’s lighting scheme sought to give the space the ‘cathedral of nature’ that the hall is known for, replacing an ageing and inefficient scheme that had little flexibility for events and evening uses of the museum, which are very popular. Further, an entirely LED-based system was used, including all of the showcase internal lighting, to reduce the maintenance and energy costs in this enormous space, and the control system allows the museum staff to switch from museum to event use at just the press of a button.
Hope, the Blue Whale
The new hall has been described glowingly in the press, and a fitting tribute to the conservation and preservation work that the museum is known globally for.
DHA also produced the lighting scheme for the coinciding exhibition – Whales: Beneath thesurface. As a Blue Whale becomes the must-see display of the Museum, visitors can dive deeper into the mysterious world of Cetaceans in the new summer family exhibition.
Issue 98 of Mondo Arc magazine (June / July 2017) has published a great feature our work at BXR London, including photographs by Gilles Bonugli Kalli. You can download a PDF of the full article here.
The new Garden Museum interior, from the Evening Standard
London’s Evening Standard newspaper had a preview of the refurbished Garden Museum just before opening; the newspaper declares it a glorious makeover. DHA worked with the museum staff, Dow Jones Architects & exhibition specialists, GUM, to bring new life to the church & striking new copper-clad pavilions in the church grounds. The interior of the church now houses a refreshed exhibition, shop and a versatile space for evening events, seminars & talks. Now Jonathan Howard’s lighting refurbishment combines the new exhibition lighting with concealed architectural fixtures that can change the interior of the space for different uses in the evening. Furthermore, the revised design replaces many energy-hungry tungsten lamps, that despite creating a rich ambience in the space, were using large quantities of energy & were difficult to maintain.