St. Fagans Museum, Cardiff

Following a £30m investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government to completely transform the visitors' experience at the Cardiff Museum, Furniture Fusion was approached by the Jones Architecture + Design to assist on the final stages of the projects.

CLIENT

St. Fagans Museum

WE WORKED WITH:

Jones AD

PRODUCTS:

Bespoke Modular Seating

Project

The newly completed Courtyard Atrium at the flagship St. Fagans National Museum of History in Wales is a striking double-height space with access to all parts of the building, which forms visitors’ first and last impressions of St. Fagans and enables them to get their bearings, plan their visit and navigate the site. The atrium has several uses – its daily function is to serve as the museum entrance, but it was designed to perform additional roles including a theatre-style space for presentations and performances and to host functions for up to 300 guests. To deliver each of these, the furniture selected needed to be flexible, hardwearing and easily moveable, as well as providing comfortable, attractive seating to a range of visitors from school groups to the elderly and young families.

The result was something which fitted the brief perfectly – a bespoke modular seating system which could be moved quickly and easily for performances and to suit different visitor requirements and uses. Some pieces would have arms and backs, some would be left without; pieces could be moved and linked together to create different sculptural shapes – especially striking when viewed from the overhead bridge which links the galleries. All would be hardwearing to withstand the rigours of the museum’s youngest visitors and ultimately would deliver something that was visually exciting and appealing to mirror the beautiful new space and enhance its character.

Colours and fabrics were selected to complement those used in the museum’s café space – another Jones AD project, the palette was chosen to echo the Welsh landscape and heritage. We went back to basics and created paper mockups of the pieces, which allowed us to play around with the sizing and shapes and really bring designs to life.

Following the initial technical drawing stage, we produced prototypes for review and testing by the public and the museum team. These were very well-received, with great feedback from all stakeholders. Some final revisions were made in line with their comments, before the design was signed off and production could proceed, ready for installation in the museum at the end of September.

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