Hope, the blue whale, stars in the newly re-opened Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum

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.

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Hintze Hall

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.

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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.

 

Garden Museum re-opens in Lambeth with complete lighting refurbishment

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.

Feathers to the Stars opens in new museum in Miami

Yutyrannosaurus in the new gallery

Yutyrannosaurus in the new gallery – image from the Miami Herald

DHA’s newest collaboration with the renowned exhibition designers, Casson Mann, has opened at the Frost Science Museum in Miami. The gallery, Feathers to the Stars, tells the story of flight from the evolution of birds to the space race, using a huge range of media & objects from some of the key points in history. The star exhibit is a life-sized model of a feathered dinosaur, Yutyrannosaurus, displaying some of the latest thinking in the appearance & evolution of dinosaurs. The Miami New Times was one of the first to review the new museum, and described it as worth the wait