The Weller Astronomy Galleries

Client
The National Maritime Museum

Status
2007

Scope
Identity | Exhibition | Illustration | Signage


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About
The original Victorian South Building of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich were extensively refurbished to create a new series of featured galleries as well as educational spaces and other modern facilities. In buildings which were once so dilapidated that rainwater could pour straight through the roof, completely new galleries now bring together some of the important historical pieces from the Observatory’s collection alongside new interactive exhibits that use state of the art technology.

This historic building brought along its own challenges: how to fit an exhibition on a subject that is arguably infinite in size into four relatively small rooms! We had to be very clever with our use of space, and we also strived to bring in the best of interactive technology to create a dynamic experience. For this we worked with an inspiring team of curators and astronomers. The galleries take the visitor on a step-by-step journey through space, explaining not just the tools of modern astronomers but also how and why they investigate space. Visitors get a peek into some of these intriguing investigations, like why we are searching for dark matter down Britain’s deepest mine, how the world’s most powerful telescopes work and how they are searching for planets similar to our own.

The studio collaborated with technology and software experts to create amazing new interactive exhibits for the Space Galleries. The final gallery contains a large interactive surface that allows the visitor to actively explore deep space. While they virtually travel to distant galaxies or nebulae, they are guided by real modern astronomers telling them of recent discoveries in those areas, or questions still unanswered.