Casson Mann revamp London's Natural History Museum, as giant blue whale replaces icon Dippy

London’s Natural History Museum has completed a major revamp of its main hall, with its blue whale skeleton replacing the national institution’s much-loved Diplodocus replica – a sight which has welcomed visitors to the museum for more than 37 years.

The museum made the move as it aims to refresh its image, wanting to be known for living science rather than its fossil collection, with a focus on “authenticity” and learning new things relevant to the modern world.

Environmental and exhibition design practice Casson Mann were selected to reinvigorate the iconic Hintze Hall, working with historic building consultants Purcell, and refurbishment and restoration specialists Jerram Falkus Construction to carry out the hall’s first major refurbishment since the 1970s.

The suspended blue whale skeleton – named Hope – is the focal point of the revamp, with its placement meant to create a dynamic tension between the museum’s architectural and scientific narratives, with contemporary displays surrounded by the building’s Romanesque architecture.

In addition to the whale’s installation, new plinths and modern display cases have been installed to showcase objects from the museum’s collection and to reflect areas of scientific endeavour, including origins, evolution and biodiversity. Casson Mann says the new displays and infrastructure will see the Grade 1 listed hall through at least the next 25 years.

“The transformation of Hintze Hall represents a new era for us as a natural history museum for the future,” said Sir Michael Dixon, director of the Natural History Museum

“Putting our blue whale at the centre of the museum, between living species on the West and extinct species on the East, is a powerful reminder of the fragility of life and the responsibility we have towards our planet.”

The whale skeleton replaces ‘Dippy’ – the museum’s iconic diplodocus – which has been in the museum’s collection for more than 112 years. The 21.3 metre-long dinosaur, with 292 replica bones made of plaster, will soon embark on a UK tour starting in February next year. The museum, which is also renovating its exterior grounds, has announced plans to cast Dippy in bronze upon its return to the museum and install it as an outdoor installation in its gardens.

The opening of Hintze Hall marks the end of a redevelopment programme that began with Casson Mann’s 2012 Treasures Gallery. According to the studio, "this final phase continues the design language and limited palette of materials, carefully combined to tie all spaces together into one coherent visual and intellectual whole."

“It’s a huge privilege to have been tasked with the Hintze Hall redevelopment,” said Roger Mann, co-founder and Director of Casson Mann. “I’m a Londoner and this has been my favourite museum to visit since I can remember, and as an environmental designer I’m passionate about its beautiful architecture and very excited about this fantastic opportunity to create suitably stunning contemporary displays within its extraordinary interior”.

Visitor attractions  museums  Casson Mann  heritage  Dippy  blue whale  Purcell  architecture  Hintze Hall  Natural History Museum 
Related stories

Natural History Museum's 'Dippy' set for UK tour in 2018

Science and Natural History museums enter preliminary discussions for west London sites

Natural History Museum's multi-million facelift by Niall McLaughlin Architects follows 'three great narratives'

Blue whale ousts dino in battle for centre stage at Natural History Museum

London’s Natural History Museum has completed a major revamp of its main hall, with its blue whale skeleton replacing the national institution’s much-loved Diplodocus replica – a sight which has welcomed visitors to the museum for more than 37 years. The museum made the move as it aims to refresh its image, wanting to be known for living science rather than its fossil collection, with a focus on “authenticity” and
CLD,VAT,HAM,ARC,DES
'Hope' the blue whale replaced 'Dippy' the diplodocus  / NHM
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6275     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6275     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Gharieni Group GmbH
Gharieni Group is based in Germany and is a leading European manufacturer of high end spa and medical furniture, beds and equipment with 25 years of experience. All products are high-quality productions, made in Germany.
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
features
Work is due to start on the Hotel Valle Sagrado in Cuzco, Peru
Schreibeis Smith set up Vera Iconica Architecture in 2010
"Wellness is essentially an insurance policy to promote physical and mental long term health"

Raising the profile of wellness architecture

V Starr Interiors, Venus Williams’ practice, designed a tennis lounge for the club and one of the hotel’s suites
DMAC’s Dwayne MacEwen
"The hotel concept came late in the game, but it was an inspired idea"

The newly renovated Chicago Midtown Athletic Club features a boutique hotel, a pool-come-ice rink and spaces designed by Venus Williams

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
ABA have designed four residential towers with leisure space for the Greenwich Peninsula scheme
Alison Brooks
"The profession is changing"

We need to help the public understand that architects are on their side, argues The Smile designer

A bronze mesh allows sound energy to reach the hall’s walls, improving the acoustics
"It’s a privilege to have completed a scheme of such importance to the cultural identity of Antwerp - Stuart Mills"

SimsponHaugh’s latest project

The Yongsan park site is bigger than Central Park
Adriaan Geuze
"The profile of landscape architecture has been raised by international cities competing with one another"

How the West 8 founder is using the healing power of nature on a Korean site with a turbulent history

Decq opened the Confluence Institute architectural school in 2014
Decq has been recognised for raising the profile of women in architecture
"Things have improved, but not enough"

On women in architecture

Tom Emerson collaborated with students from ETH Zurich to build the Pavilion of Reflections
"You could have cultural events and museums that go from city to city. It’s a new way of thinking"

Rising sea levels and a shortage of land are leading to increased interest in floating buildings. We take a look at some fascinating projects

cladkit product news
Hotel Crescent Court opens new spa following multi-million-dollar renovation
Hotel Crescent Court has reopened its spa after a multi-million dollar refurbishment
Lauren Heath-Jones
Hotel Crescent Court, a luxury hotel in Dallas, Texas, has reopened its spa and fitness centre after completing a multi-million-dollar ...
Empex Watertoys partners with Singapore architecture firm on new splash park
Buds is a new splash park that caters to children aged 12 and under
Lauren Heath-Jones
Empex Watertoys has partnered with Singapore landscape architecture firm Playpoint Singapore Pte to create Buds, an exciting new splash park ...
AB Concept partners with House of Tai Ping for luxurious rug collection
The collection was inspired by the idea of looking down at the world from a great height
Lauren Heath-Jones
Design house AB Concept has partnered with bespoke rug specialist Tai Ping to create Nephele, an exclusive line of handcrafted ...
cladkit product news
Kvorning wins contest to design aquaculture exhibit at Norway's Coastal Museum
The exhibition explores the history of Norway's fish-farming industry dating back to 1970
Lauren Heath-Jones
Copenhagen-based design studio Kvorning Design and Norwegian advertising agency Vindfang have won a competition, organised by Museums in Sør Trøndelag ...
London's new pollution-eating living wall has air purifying power of 275 trees
CityTree is a living wall that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air by 30 per cent
Lauren Heath-Jones
The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems ...
Ben van Berkel launches UNSense startup to boost health and wellbeing in built environments
Kim Megson
Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and his design firm UNStudio have launched a tech startup to “improve the health and ...
cladkit product news
Dornbracht debuts Rainmoon wellness shower concept at  Salone del Mobile
Rainmoon is a multi-sensory wellness experience designed to revitalise and reinvigorate the user
Lauren Heath-Jones
Dornbracht, a German-based luxury bathroom specialist, has launched an innovative new shower experience, Rainmoon. Slated as the next generation of ...
FAÇADE2017 winners 'diverse and remarkable', says SFE board member
Ramboll was awarded for the Blavatnik Building, Switchouse Extension of the Tate Moder
Lauren Heath-Jones
A trio of British leisure facilities have been honoured in the Façade2017 awards. Established in 2013 by the Society of ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates