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Dorset Museum

Client: Dorset Museum

We worked closely with the museum team to masterplan a more coherent and compelling museum experience for Dorset Museum, helping to secure substantial HLF Stage 2 funding for an ambitious £17m refurbishment and re-interpretation.


Our main challenge was establishing common threads across DCM’s impressive but seemingly unconnected collections, including Viking and Roman archaeology, fossils and social history, as well as the archive of local literary hero Thomas Hardy. The main gallery stories are geology, people and fine art, with a fourth dedicated to Hardy. To enrich and unify the experience, we layered diverse elements throughout: geology, for example, has storylines linked to both landscapes (art) and people (local history).

With a Victorian building at its core, DCM’s later, mostly mid-20th century additions will be demolished and a new extension designed by Carmody Groarke will create four spacious permanent galleries, a temporary exhibition space, and much improved visitor facilities.

Our role:

  • Interpretation masterplanning

  • Funding bid support - HLF 2

  • Exhibition design

  • Graphic design

  • Software design concepts

Also see this project is Museums, galleries & visitor centres

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