Narrative-led design for British musuem
London-based Nissen Richards Studio has designed The Grade 1 Listed Sir Hoseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia, The British Museum, which was to refurbish the longest gallery in the British Museum, which displays a collection of Chinese and South Asian antiquities.
At 115 m. long, the gallery contains over 5,000 antiquities and the firm was commissioned to renovate and upgrade the existing space to meet its environmental needs in the 21st century. As a result, the project was transformed into a reimagined narrative-led exhibition space of imagery and color.
Burgundy painted columns mark Chinese history and culture, while a bright peacock blue represents South Asian life. Each of the 31 bays of the gallery is demarcated by a title fin and provides a backdrop for an era, culture or theme. A new bespoke pendant lighting fixture in patinated brass and quartz welcomes the audience into each bay, which emphasizes the repetitive rhythm of the architecture.
Patinated brass is repeatedly used to highlight key interpretational devices: gallery introductions, prized antiquities and audiovisual interactives. A green patina developed with a local specialist marks the gateway into the refurbished Selwyn and Ellie Allyne Gallery of Jade, which was also a part of the project.