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Stoke-On-Trent - United Kingdom

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

The museum & the collection

The Potteries Museum in Stoke is not only renowned for its ceramic collection, but it also houses a portion of the Staffordshire Hoard. The largest recent development here involved the construction of a new wing dedicated to showcasing a World War II Spitfire, an important component of the museum’s collection telling the story of the local area’s connection to the Spitfire’s development.

The assignment & the challenges

To realise this vision, the museum sought to create a visually impactful display that would complement the balcony’s curvature in the new gallery, whilst ensuring longterm adaptability. The aim was to deliver a display that matched the Spitfire’s impact, aligning with a large projection on the gallery wall opposite the balcony, depicting Spitfires in flight. It was crucial to seamlessly integrate the movement of the projection into the showcases.

The solutions & the result

Collaborating closely with the museum, we designed a long, high, double-sided case that followed the balcony’s curve. Employing faceted glass, the design created a curved appearance using a series of flat glass doors, mitigating the expense associated with curved glass while preserving the balcony’s aesthetic.

Additionally, three modular cases were provided, featuring our in-house Meyvaert modular demountable case system with a projector unit. The projector unit displays images of local individuals and their stories on the back of an assembly of all three modular cases. Objects and uniforms related to the projections are positioned in front. The modular cases use 2 sizes of glass shelf which are suspended from the case top. We suggested incorporating mounting points on the top of the faceted case, enabling the use of identical suspended shelves.

This meant that the suspended shelf system can be used in the modular cases and faceted case. This not only enhanced long-term flexibility but also allowed utilisation of the shelves in both the modular cases and the long faceted case. We also devised multiple options that seamlessly integrate with suspended shelf rods. Through the use of magnets on the steel case tops, we’ve enabled the suspension of labels and objects not only from the suspended shelf points but also directly from the top of the case.

Additionally, there is a wall unit featuring several fixed drawers and a wall case that unveils more intimate details from the same historical period.

The exhibition’s final presentation is awe-inspiring, with a wall projection above this amazing Spitfire and sound effects evoking a 1940s aerodrome atmosphere. The images within the modular cases offer a glimpse into the lifestyle of Stoke’s residents during wartime. The long faceted case stands out as a striking architectural addition to the gallery, showcasing its objects and stories in an impressive and easily accessible manner, as if the objects were floating within the case. Remarkably, all of this was accomplished amid the challenges posed by the pandemic.

© The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Project

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Solutions

Custom Design
Infinity

Country

United Kingdom

Year

2021

Type of museum

Art Museum

Scope

9 showcases: 3 Meyvaert Modular Cases, 1 long faceted case & a wall unit with a recessed case and fixed drawers

More info

© The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent City Council


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