Aberdeen Art Gallery

Creating ‘a place for everyone’ was at the heart of our brief for the redesign of Aberdeen Art Gallery. We were responsible for the interpretation and redesign of 21 exhibition galleries, displaying the collection’s exceptional treasures and the stories they tell. Today the Gallery displays over 1,000 artworks, three times the number prior to the redevelopment. Combining experiential design with accessible exhibitions we developed new ways of engaging with visitors. We were also responsible for the digital and signage strategies throughout the Gallery.


Aberdeen City Council


Interpretation Masterplan
Support for NLHF application
Exhibition Design
Graphic Design
Digital Strategy and Design
Interactive Design
Wayfinding and Signage
Shop Design
Design of Print and Publications
Project Management

Art Fund
Museum of the Year, 2020

Museums + Heritage Awards
Special Commendation, 2020

Scottish Design Awards
Special Commendation, 2020

RIAS Awards
Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland, 2021

RIBA Awards
National Award Winner, 2021

Civic Trust Awards
National Panel Special Award, 2021

Future Cities Forum
Winner Culture, 2021


Drawing on visitor research, the new displays were created with multi-generational audiences in mind. Each of the galleries draws on a different theme and integrates innovative interpretation to highlight stories and enrich the experience for visitors as they engage with the art and objects on display. Responding to their subject matter, galleries range from quieter more contemplative spaces such as the Remembrance Hall to active galleries which engage families and younger visitors. We also ensured inclusivity through the development of interpretation designed to meet the needs of a range of learning styles. Different artforms and media, hands-on interactives, music, innovative display methods and engaging interpretation combine to create experiences and take visitors on a journey of discovery.

“Studioarc have been a joy to work with. They listened carefully to our vision and worked collaboratively to deliver a high-quality product. They were adaptable and considered in their solutions and proposals. Their project management was exceptional.”

Helen Fothergill, Service Manager Archives, Gallery & Museums, Aberdeen City Council

Digital engagement

Creating and implementing a digital strategy was a key element of our approach to visitor engagement. Highlights include the four-metre-wide Collections Wall which introduces visitors to the Gallery’s treasures, enabling them to explore over 5,000 objects, play games, vote for their favourite artwork and influence future displays. Responding to the brief to encourage young people to the Art Gallery, we designed the innovative +music system with 500 curated music tracks which visitors can listen to in each of the galleries, adding richness and diversity to their experience. In the Exploring Art gallery visitors can create their own digital art and see it displayed with the Gallery.

“Aberdeen Art Gallery: A showstopper attraction that will underpin Aberdeen’s cultural renaissance.”


Hands on learning

Responding to different ways of learning, we integrated hands-on interactives throughout Aberdeen Art Gallery. Dressing up, discovery stations, games, puzzles, tactile material, family trails and sensory material have all been designed to encourage discovery, exploration and inter-generational learning. Bespoke sketchbooks are stationed in benches throughout the Gallery to inspire visitors to draw their own artwork and share it with others.

There’s a great deal of creativity in how the works have been arranged, and there are plenty of surprises… Part of me wants to drag people in off the street to see what has been achieved here. If this collection was in London, people would be queueing to get in.”

Apollo – The International Art Magazine

Discover More

Provost Skene’s House

Aberdeen City Council

Mackintosh at the Willow

The Willow Teamrooms Trust

Kilmartin Museum

Kilmartin Museum Limited