For me the most daunting, but exciting element of the Collections in the Landscape project is the redevelopment of the Wonders of the Peak Gallery. We’ve blogged about the redevelopment quite a lot and been on various fact finding trips to other institutions, most recently to the newly redeveloped Manchester Central Library.
Yesterday we had a meeting with three designers who have all put forward ideas for what the new gallery might look like. It was really exciting to see the designs and it has made the development suddenly feel very real.
The current gallery is a chronological time tunnel, which takes visitors from the big bang through to the Victorian period. It is windy and dark (windy as in wiggly, not blusterous), with many stud walls and areas of false ceilings, making it difficult to envisage as a blank space.
We intend to open up the gallery making it less claustrophobic and more accessible, while still trying to make the most of its small dimensions. We are still in the very early stages and will not be finalising designs or companies until next year, but it has given us something to think about.