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National Museum of Scotland

Metaphor was commissioned in 2011 to look at how the National Museum of Scotland’s redevelopment could be progressed in a way that could create a compelling, legible whole. At that time, recent gallery developments had just been concluded that opened in considerable public acclaim.


Visitors now come into the Museum through the New Street Level Entrance Hall and then climb by stairs or the lift to the Grand Gallery on the Level 1 alongside the ‘Window on the World’ display. From the Grand Gallery visitors can choose to explore any of the vertical stacks that make up the Museum – the Natural World, World Cultures, Art and Design, Science and Technology and the Scottish Galleries. At that time, the most recent gallery redevelopments concentrated on the Natural World, World Cultures, the Grand Gallery and Discoveries.

Our task was to look at the redevelopment of the other ‘stacks’, an analysis which ultimately culminated in Metaphor’s redesign of 11 new galleries focusing in Art and Design and Science and Technology at NMS in 2017.

Service: Masterplanning

Client: National Museum of Scotland

Realisation: 2011

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