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.
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.