Kilmartin Museum

Design of new Museum interpreting the story of internationally significant Kilmartin Glen – one of the UK’s most important archaeological landscapes. The Museum responds to the Glen’s unique sense of place as it takes visitors on a journey from the present-day, back in time over 10,000 years. The interpretation uses the power of the objects these early people left behind, together with the monuments they made and landscape they inhabited, to bring their stories to life.


Kilmartin Museum Limited


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

Museums + Heritage Awards
Permanent Exhibition of the Year
Highly Commended, 2024

“Studioarc have created a fantastic sense of drama and atmosphere, whilst also maintaining interest for a wide-ranging audience. Visitor feedback has been overwhelmingly excellent, and we are very proud with what the team have achieved.”

Dr Sharon Webb, Director and Curator


The layout of the exhibition responds to the physical architecture of the new building, which wraps around the original 18th century manse. Our design approach creates a series of sightlines which culminate in revealing the Linear Cemetery below the Museum. The idea of ‘revealing’ also informs our approach to the display and lighting of objects. Focal light draws the visitor’s eye to the jewel-like qualities of the objects, highlighting their unique patterns and creating moments of drama and pause along the journey.

Sustainability is central to our displays at Kilmartin Museum. We used natural canvas as a substrate for graphics, set against rich tactile timber plinths crafted in oiled ash and produced with organic dyes, which will create a rich patina as they age.

“Absolutely inspirational exhibition, with explanations and links through to the monuments and the finds. Interactive stuff for kids of all ages. Loved the jet necklace and the Lady.”

Visitor Review

Digital and hands-on engagement

The displays have been designed to be timeless, warm and inclusive, inviting visitors to participate in hands-on activities, engage through immersive digital content, explore objects in detail and learn through first-hand discovery. The exhibition has been developed to accommodate users with a diverse range of abilities by optimising physical, sensory and intellectual access. A hierarchy of content ensures key messages and themes are easily communicated, with added layers allowing visitors to ‘dig deeper’ to explore areas of specific interest. Digital content has been developed to support stories and represent a variety of viewpoints.

“The interior and atmosphere that Studioarc have created is fantastic and shows off the exhibits in a most interesting and engaging way. Feedback from the public has been very positive and we are so pleased and proud of the outcome.”

Grace MacLeod, Kilmartin Museum Chair

Interpretation in the landscape

Landscape is central to understanding Kilmartin’s story. Within the exhibition we introduced suspended printed gauzes as backdrops to vary pace, control sightlines, create reveals and highlight focal points. The gauzes are printed with abstracted photography of Kilmartin Glen to create ethereal landscapes, adding depth and atmosphere and bringing the important landscape setting indoors. A carefully constructed colour journey draws on the natural hues of the surrounding landscape mirroring its lush greens, warm purples and deep blues. Graphic elements introduce metallic bronze finishes to reference the importance of metal-working for Kilmartin’s early people. The visitor journey continues outside, with interpretation leading visitors to explore the remarkable monuments of the Linear Cemetry first-hand.

“You have done a really extraordinary job! The artwork and imagery make it personal and the words are just right and amazingly covered everything, succinctly. The necklace – wow.”

Visitor Review

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