2023 | Professional

MUSE Design Awards Gold Winner

Hunterian Museum

Entrant Company

Casson Mann

Category

Interior Design - Museum (NEW)

Client's Name

Royal College of Surgeons of England

Country / Region

United Kingdom

Casson Mann’s complex and fascinating design for the Hunterian Museum helps visitors understand the significance of a rich anatomical collection. The brief was to design a dynamic and memorable museum experience about the development of medical knowledge, focusing on John Hunter—18th-century anatomist, physician, and surgeon—for whom this London museum is named. The re-design includes contemporary, interpretive galleries and object displays, interactive and projected media, and soundscapes that draw visitors into an extraordinary world.



Our concept strengthens the narrative by establishing a strong chronology and interweaving stories of Hunter, his legacy, the history of surgery and its practice today. Full of surprises and curious juxtapositions, eight galleries trace the evolution of medical knowledge over time and contextualise controversial practices of the past. Hunter’s self-professed “grand curiosity” inspires the narrative journey: as visitors explore they engage deeply with Hunter’s insatiable scientific enquiry, responsible for so many medical innovations.



Casson Mann has sought to convey the essential humanity at the heart of medical endeavour. Patient stories highlight the human outcomes of experimental procedures and inventions. The design immerses visitors in distinct time periods, placing events in a social context and lending warmth to clinical artefacts: the 'Leicester Square' gallery evokes Hunter’s family home through its Georgian colour palette and gilded portraits, while the gallery about modern surgery uses recognisably 20th-century lighting and a density of objects to express the explosion of technology that supports medical disciplines today.



Innovative use of technology enhances visitors’ understanding of exhibits and makes for a truly engaging exhibition. Specially commissioned soundscapes subtly elevate the narrative experience, and interactive touchscreens and tabletop projections encourage curiosity. Creatively directed by Casson Mann, they enrich object displays with remarkable archive material.



The design highlight is the Long Gallery. Over 3000 specimens stored in bespoke jars and cases are delicately illuminated to spotlight details and draw visitors into close contemplation of their contents. With huge showcases and beautifully-lit specimens massed along parallel lines, this high-quality display creates an incredible wow factor for visitors.

Credits

Project Lead and Director, Casson Mann
John Pickford
Co founder and Creative Director, Casson Mann
Roger Mann
Storyline, Casson Mann
Kirsty Kelso
Senior Designer, Casson Mann
Virna di Schiavi
Senior Designer, Casson Mann
Corinne Tolson Sevier
Designer, Casson Mann
Eleonora Francica
AV touchscreen and projected media
ISO
Graphic Design
de Pass Montgomery
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