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HIMACS: Eureka Museum

HIMACS used at interactive museum Eureka! Designing a fun, colourful way to learn

Children’s museums are spaces designed to give them the opportunity to learn through play or ‘informal learning‘. They differ from traditional museums, which are usually solemn spaces where visitors aren’t usually allowed to touch or interact with exhibits. By contrast, children’s museum exhibits are usually hands-on, encouraging them to learn by testing, experimenting, exploring their natural curiosity and using their senses and imagination - therefore the materials and technologies need to be adapted to this format and the design needs to be attractive  with a call to action. Eureka! - the National Children's Museum located in Halifax applies this concept, and has chosen HIMACS in 8 colourful tones of its palette as the material for the redevelopment of the “Me and My Body Gallery”, which re-opened in April 2013.

Eureka! has been established for over 20 years and the original "Me and My Body" gallery was showing its age after more than 6 million highly energetic visitors had enjoyed it. The vision that the team at Eureka! had for the new gallery was to provide yet more playful and open ended experiences than the old exhibition and to create a space which children would see as their own.

The project was developed and managed by the museum team and exhibition designers At Large Design and produced by Paragon Creative Ltd – the principle contractor and one of the largest and best equipped creative workshops in Europe with an expanding solid surface specialized department.

For the last 6 months Paragon have worked with At Large Design and the team at Eureka! on the redevelopment of their hugely popular ‘Me and My Body’ gallery.

The new gallery which is now called “All About Me” is a refreshing and dynamic 850 sqm area with a highly immersive space that informs and educates children about their bodies, diet, health and wellbeing through hands on interactive displays and role-play.

The design team was looking for a way of realising a space that had the highest levels of durability without slipping into the "riot proof" look and feel of playgrounds and some hands-on science centres.

Everything in the space had to be of the highest quality both materially and aesthetically. Spaces and objects in this gallery need to be adapted to high traffic, and extreme use without looking boring or cheap,  while easy to maintain and extremely hygienic. For these important reasons, the material research was key, and solid surface material HIMACS® was the obvious choice. The solid colour range provided exactly the colour palette needed and the material's workability and ability to be seamlessly jointed allowed the freedom to create forms and surfaces with real character and presence whilst being extremely durable.

The gallery works as a series of encounters with remarkable objects and spaces which give children the opportunity to build their own play activities and to act as a launchpad for their imaginations. Over seventy mechanical, sculptural and AV based interactive displays were developed, built and installed by Paragon using HIMACS to create a whole immersive environment. Playful atmosphere and cutting-edge technology enter into a highly effective symbiosis at the “All About Me” gallery.

Location Halifax, United Kingdom
Architecture & Design At Large Museum & Exhibition Designers
Material used HIMACS, Venus Green, Festival Pink, Orange, Light Green, Lemon Squash, Banana, Alpine White, Iowa Blue
Fabrication Paragon Creative Ltd
Photo Credit Philip Vile
Other Graphic design : Public Works Office
Press Release Download press release