National Glass Centre

National Glass Centre

University of Sunderland

Interpretive planning and design of a major HLF-funded project for the redisplay of the National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland. Our work included the design of temporary galleries, learning spaces and a dedicated multimedia gallery exploring Sunderland’s place in the history of glassmaking. We were also responsible for the design of signage throughout the building and across the wider site.

Our work on the redisplay was designed specifically to enhance the visitor experience for established audiences, attract new audiences, meet the needs of the education market, engage with the local community and meet the needs of families and children. The exhibition design of the heritage gallery tells the story of glassmaking in Sunderland which stretches back 1300 years. A free-standing cylindrical AV drum nudges out into reception area, acting as a highly dynamic draw for the Heritage Gallery and providing an introduction and insight into the magical qualities of glass. Three freestanding angular ‘pavilions’ are themed on the concepts of Origins, Growth and Legacy. Taking visitors on a journey of exploration they incorporate cased objects, illustrations, graphics, oral histories, multimedia and film treatments.


Studioarc interpreted a challenging brief imaginatively producing acrisp, clean and compelling design. Their displays made an important contribution to the transformation of the Centre and have been well received.

James Bustard, Director

What an interesting place, loved learning about the history of Sunderland’s glass works and watching the demonstration of glass blowing. Lots of interactive activities and craft classes for children.

Visitor review

Share this project

share on facebook share on twitter share on pinterest share on linkedin

You might also like...