Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

The National Galleries of Scotland

We were appointed as interpretive exhibition designers for the redisplay of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, a major HLF-funded project, with a view to increasing visitor numbers and broadening the appeal of the gallery by creating a central, high-profile arts resource. We were responsible for the design of 18 galleries including 3D design, graphics, display cases, furniture and IT units as well as the signage throughout the building. Our involvement continues in updating the new displays.

We developed the Interpretation Plan for the Gallery as part of the successful HLF submission. This involved the thematic display of a large collection with many different entrance and points of engagement for visitors. We worked closely with curators and education staff to consider the needs of varied visitor groups, including tourists, families, special interest visitors and educational audiences. We employed a variety of media including: touchscreens, tactile handling objects, interactives, graphics, AV projections and built in a number of sensory opportunities.

Our design provided a strong creative response to the industrial aesthetic of the Arts and Crafts building. A palette of sustainable and sympathetic materials, which respond to the architecture of the A-listed building, including glass, leather, steel and oak were employed throughout, including the design of new furniture and IT units throughout galleries. We were also responsible for the signage strategy and design and implementation of signage for
the site including visitor orientation, directional signage, gallery naming and temporary signage.

Finalist Art Fund Museum of the Year 2012

Winner RIBA Award 2012

Design of bespoke oak and leather seating throughout the galleries.
The benches have an option to add a touchscreen unit or audio post unit.

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The Studioarc team have all been a pleasure to work with – professional, intelligent, reliable, and approachable. We could not have pulled this project off without Studioarc. I would highly recommend Studioarc to any organisation seeking talented, committed, creative and effective designers.

Nicola Kalinsky, Deputy to the Director

“A stunning facelift at the
Scottish National Portrait
Gallery in Edinburgh sheds
new light on old glories.”

The Telegraph

Custom-design of tensioned display partitions which respond to the industrial aesthetic of the building; the central discovery table houses light-sensitive artworks in drawers.

Examples of digital wallpaper used as backdrops and accompanying postcards for visitor feedback.

The Contemporary Gallery on the ground floor with projected film installation and custom-designed furniture.

One of the large top floor galleries with a refurbished Sir Rowand Anderson display case, touchscreen interactive incorporated within the bench and full-height banners.

A side gallery with projected film, quotations, paintings and busts exploring the role and contribution of Victorian women.

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