Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Portsmouth

Our approach was to balance creativity, innovation, strategic planning and collaboration with the client to create a solution that met the strict project criteria, transforming the space, and exceeding client expectations.

The Royal Navy National Museum of Submarines is a prestigious institution dedicated to preserving the maritime heritage of submarines, and telling the fascinating story of their contribution to the UK’s naval fleet since the turn of the 19th century.

At a glance

• The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, is a hight footfall tourist attraction in Portsmouth
• It caters for a wide range of demographics, from pre-school, schools and adults.
• Located in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard
• The exhibition is both indoor and outdoor, and required significant navigation aids
• Our Creative Studio, Andco Studio, were responsible for all design work throughout the exhibition.

Brief

We faced competition from a number of industry competitors, but were selected by the client to create an immersive visitor experience that engages a varied customer base, both young and old, and communicates the proud history of the Royal Navy’s submarine division.

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum is the home of multiple ex-service submarines that visitors can explore, from the first submarine the Royal Navy commissioned in 1901, to two WWII era subs the HMS Alliance and X24.

Stepping abord these submarines is intensely immersive, and an inevitable highlight of the visitor’s experience. Our job was to extend that sense of immersion across the whole site, educating and engaging a wide-ranging demographic.

Solution

Our approach was to balance creativity, innovation, strategic planning and collaboration with the client to create a solution that met the strict project criteria, transforming the space, and exceeding client expectations.

We joined the client on site and conducted an extensive survey, listening to their objectives and discussing how best to translate these aspirations into a stunning visitor experience. Our consultants and designers then worked together to create a detailed proposal.

While working with the client’s brand guidelines, our designers were given creative license to find innovative ways to communicate the museums complex messaging. The result was to integrate a range of technologies that ensured visitors were engaged and informed throughout their visit.

Our first task was to create an internal and external wayfinding system that allowed visitors to navigate the various exhibitions. We employed a combination of external information monoliths, and internal tactile wayfinding signs that incorporated 3D printing technology to add interest and help partially sighted customers feel comfortable moving around the site.

The glass front of the museum was fully wrapped in contra vision, engaging visitors, and promoting the museum to passers-by.

We created a bespoke modular reception counter in the centre of the foyer, surrounded by the museum shop.

To bring the exhibition to life, we designed a range of impactful internal wall wraps, featuring imagery, illustrations, and typography to tell the story of the Royal Navy’s submarine history.

Digital screen monoliths were deployed throughout the site to offer interactive elements for visitors. We created a floor vinyl trail leading to a dedicated section for children featuring illustrations and child-friendly facts.

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