BRC applies theme park design to Museum of the Bible

Experience design firm BRC have taken the concept of a theme park attraction and placed it inside a museum setting at the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.

A US$500m (€424m, £374.5m) project, the 430,000sq ft (40,000sq m) museum, which opened on 17 November, has been created inside a former refrigerated warehouse built in 1922.

A group of high-profile design teams worked on the project, with US firm SmithGroup acting as lead architects and Clark Construction Group serving as the general contractor.

BRC’s role was to create a themed experience over the museum’s Narrative Floor, with its aim to tell the story of the Bible through history and the first part of that mandate focusing on the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament.

“We worked with a group of scholars for four-and-a-half years, to develop a narrative guests could experience for themselves,” Matt Solari, creative director for BRC, told CLADglobal.

“We decided early on that the Old Testament experience was going to focus strictly on the Hebrew texts themselves and what they mean to Jewish people – something which really lends itself to an immersive journey.”

The 30-minute experience takes guests on foot through a series of rooms, each using a variety of theatrical rooms and art installations, each with audio-visual and digital effects to tell the Bible’s story.

“It’s akin to a theme park in the way that it was designed,” said Solari. “Believe it or not we took inspiration from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

"There’s a lot we borrowed from how that attraction works, applying those principles to a museum and an experience.

“We snake the audience through the experience to maximise the use of space and special effects in very much the same way they do with a ride like Pirates of the Caribbean.

"There’s not an ounce of space wasted. We pay attention to site lines and reveals – it’s a classic attraction design approach.”

Following the Old Testament experience, visitors can explore the New Testament with a film created by BRC. Sitting inside a 125-seat theatre featuring a 180-degree wraparound screen, the film takes viewers through all 27 books and letters of the New Testament in just 12 minutes.

“It’s not just a march through the story,” said Solari. “It’s more like a visual poem that takes you through the formation of the last days of Jesus, and how his message travelled and became the formation of the early church.

"Everyone, for the most part, comes in knowing bits and pieces of the Bible story. We had to connect those dots and take you through the full expression of the New Testament.”

The Narrative Floor is one of three central storeys for the museum. In between the BRC creations sits The Nazareth Jesus Knew – a recreation of a Nazareth village from the time of Jesus – created by Nashville-based design firm Jonathan Martin Creative.

“Its role is to bridge the gap between the two Testaments and to try and get people acclimated to the culture and politics of the day,” said Solari. “The stories you hear are somewhat put in context by this experience.”

According to BRC, initial indications are that the experience has been met with a great response from the public.

“It’s something museums don’t typically do, this level of immersive storytelling,” said Solari.

“What we do is create strong narrative experiences and there are a handful of museums that seek us out for that. In the museum world, they’re still catching on to it.

"The museum community that has seen it has reacted extremely well not only to its entertainment value, which is extremely high, but also its deep level of scholarship.

“We did some pretty daring things where the overall effect is so unexpected and surprising for guests. We want this to stand as a new benchmark for how to tell stories in a museum setting.”

The US$500m (£380.52, €423.53) museum has been funded by the billionaire president of arts and crafts superstore chain Hobby Lobby, Steve Green. It is keen to be seen as non-sectarian and asks whether modern science and religion must be mutually exclusive.

“We want this museum to be enriching and engaging to all people," said museum president Cary Summers, speaking to the Guardian earlier this year. "To that end, we have tapped many of the world’s leading scholars with expertise across many subjects and faith traditions, including those with Jewish, Protestant and Catholic proficiency and perspectives, to help us craft the storylines and narrative themes of this museum.”

Museum of the Bible  visitor attractions  Old Testament  New Testament  Jesus  BRC  Bob Rogers  Matt Solari  theme park  Bible  
Related stories

BRC create immersive Power of Rock experience for Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Bart Dohmen leaves BRC for new role with Mansveld

BRC evokes the spirit of Jameson with reimagined €11m brand home

Social media impact key to physical design, says BRC's Bob Rogers

Experience design firm BRC have taken the concept of a theme park attraction and placed it inside a museum setting at the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. A US$500m (€424m, £374.5m) project, the 430,000sq ft (40,000sq m) museum, which opened on 17 November, has been created inside a former refrigerated warehouse built in 1922. A group of high-profile design teams worked on the project, with US firm
VAT,HAM,PRO,ARC,DES,CLD
The Museum of the Bible opened its doors on 17 November / PA Images
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6806     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6806     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Polin Group
Market leader in design, manufacturing and installation of waterslides and water leisure developments.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The Muraka Villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island features an undersea bedroom with interiors by Yuji Yamazaki
"The Norwegian coast inhabits such beauty"

The world’s most ambitious underwater buildings

CLAD people: Kanye West
West announced the donation to the Roden Crater after a recent visit
"We will all live in Turrell spaces one day"

Musician Kanye West to help fund the still unfinished Roden Crater, designed by American artist James Turrell

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The restaurant features custom-designed furniture
Daniela Colli
"The alternation of light and shadow is essential to give dynamism to a space"

Italian architect Daniela Colli tells us how she looked to classical art for inspiration on how to deal with light and shadow in her latest project

The ‘Archigram boys’ from left to right: David Greene, Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Michael Webb, Ron Herron and Dennis Crompton
Peter Cook
"Somehow we’d caught the imagination of people"

As a book about radical architecture collective Archigram is released, we speak to one of the founders about the need for fun

Partners clockwise from bottom right: Alexandra Champalimaud, Ed Bakos, Winston Kong, John Kastl
Bakos joined Champalimaud in December 2012. He previously worked for the Rockwell Group
"Construction is one of the largest generators of landfill waste, so it is important to create spaces that transcend trends"

It’s time for a new approach to sustainability, argues Champalimaud’s managing director

features
David Polzin is executive director of design at CannonDesign. He studied at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture
"We were able to create an ‘acoustic shadow’ cutting decibel levels nearly in half"

How to design the perfect community leisure centre 100 13th century pilgrimage The Vietnamese village being created using historic methods

Perkins + Will worked on the Mary Rose with Wilkinson Eyre
Din has worked on a range of sustainability-focused projects
"It’s imperative the architecture profession takes a proactive approach to tackling the realities of climate change"

Perkins+Will’s new sustainability director

Beacher visited several Zaha Hadid buildings for design inspiration
"I fell in love with Zaha Hadid"

Black Panther set designer Hannah Beachler

cladkit product news
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
Baux creates plant-based acoustic panels
Baux has worked with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology to create Baux Acoustic Pulp, a plant-derived acoustic solution
Lauren Heath-Jones
Baux, an acoustic products brand based in Sweden, has developed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, using a plant-based material ...
Volvo partners with Reef Lab Designs to encourage ocean biodiversity
The tiles are made from marine-grade concrete and recycled plastic fibres
Lauren Heath-Jones
Car manufacturer Volvo has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create an environmentally-friendly ...
cladkit product news
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
John Pawson reimagines oil lantern for Wästberg
The Holocene No. 4 reflects Pawson's pared-back style and neutral palette
Lauren Heath-Jones
Swedish lighting company Wästberg has expanded its Holocene collection, with a new addition, Holocene No. 4, designed by acclaimed architect ...
cladkit product news
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
Mater partners with Ditzel family to create eco-friendly furniture using reclaimed plastic
The furniture uses plastic from recycled fishing nets
Lauren Heath-Jones
Mater, an ethical design brand based in Denmark, has launched a furniture collection made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean. ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates