We transform space, content and media into beautiful, engaging environments. Our clients include many of the world's leading cultural institutions.
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Casson Mann Studio 2008
La Cité du Vin, Opened June 2016
Eneko at One Aldwych, August 2016
Lascaux IV, Opening December 2016
Hintze Hall, NHM London
First World War Galleries, IWM 2014
Stanislavki Museolobby 2008
Nelson, Navy, Nation, NMM 2013
Churchill War Rooms 2005
Hollywood Costume, V&A 2012
British Galleries, V&A 2001
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge 2012
First World War Galleries, IWM 2014
Lord Ashcroft Gallery, IWM 2010
Who Am I? , Science Museum 2010
Treasures Gallery, NHM 2012
Great North Museum, Newcastle 2009
Engineer Your Future, Science Museum
Atrium Galleries, IWM 2014
Great Expectations, NY 2001
Nelson, Navy, Nation, NMM 2013
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casson mann
casson mann

contact
contact
+44 (0)20 7324 1964

info@ cassonmann.com

45 Mitchell Street
London
EC1V 3QD


about
about
    We are 
museum, exhibition
    and interior 
designers. 


         “Casson Mann’s unique ability to understand, interpret and translate into imaginative design solutions produced a museum that receives constant professional credit and public approval years after opening.

Phil Reed 
Director of the Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms

 



vacancies
We do not currently have any positions available. However, we are always keen to meet interesting people.

If you're interested in meeting us, please send a covering letter, along with your CV and portfolio (under 5 MB) to: info@cassonmann.com
 




our team
Casson Mann has been in business for 30 years. We pride ourselves on the close and collaborative working relationships we develop with clients.

Dinah Casson and Roger Mann are our founders and company partners. We have four directors, and in-house interpretation. Our team of highly qualified and talented designers offers a wide range of skills and experience. The full team is complemented by administrators who ensure the smooth running of the practice. 

We can adapt our team to suit our client’s needs. 

Ruhel Ahmed Akash
Designer
Laure Cheung
Project Manager
Virna Di Schiavi
Designer
Ioanna Gkritzani
Designer
Cecile Henry
Designer
Kirsty Kelso
Head of Content
Beatrice Lelli
Designer
Vivienne Li
Finance Manager
John Pickford
Director
Delphine Rabat
Project Manager
Craig Riley
Director
Gary Shelley
Director
Corinne Tolson
Designer
Alex Vick
Designer
Jon Williams
Director
Justin Wilson
Designer
Harriet Woollard
Studio Manager
Dinah Casson RDI, FRCA, FCSD
Partner and Creative Director
Roger Mann RDI, BA
Partner and Creative Director
Office DJ, I am always up for fun ...
       but I'm also quick and completely focused when it comes
to designing and delivering
projects, bringing an acute eye for detail.

 

Perhaps I’m French-Chinese
or maybe Chinese-French
       - either way I have the thoroughness, precision and skill
to supervise large-scale projects, 
       and I will not ever think of a sandwich as lunch!


       I enjoy working closely
with clients on the delivery of complex gallery projects,
       becoming immersed in the content and dreaming up
inventive design solutions.   


       I love design as a means
of storytelling. For me, it's an opportunity to let my imagination go wild,
transforming ideas, spaces
       and objects into installations that visitors can play with,
       learn from and enjoy. 

 

       I studied architecture
in my native France and I think
it shows in my strong sense
       of style, understanding of
concept and sensitivity
              to space. 


       Thinking, researching,
imagining and writing:
       I come up with the words and 
the stories that will engage and inspire visitors. 


       Having studied Industrial
Design in Rome, I found my way more recently to exhibition
design in London.
       It seems to me like the
more poetic side of design.  

 

       The quiet voice of reason
in a creative company.
I am responsible for managing
the company finances,
       negotiating contracts
and human resources.


       I enjoy the client sessions,
finding out about the stories
they want to tell and devising
ways to bring those stories to
life for visitors 
       - then ensuring they remain central to all that we design.


       Bilingual French/English,
after 10 years’ international experience, and my time as
       Project Manager, I’m pretty
good at translating complex
design concepts
       - not to mention international diplomacy.  


       I am the Post-It-Note king,
few projects escape being
organised and managed into a
       beautiful system of
words, sketches and coloured squares. 

 

       I’m interested in overturning traditional expectations of
museum environments,
       combining the highest object display standards with rich multimedia in powerful and
              creative ways. 


       Ever the enthusiast, I bring freshness, skill and new ideas to Casson Mann projects and pitches,
       as well as providing ‘light’ office entertainment ...


       I’m quick and efficient on pitches and projects, not afraid
to challenge views, keeping the momentum of the team going
with the odd joke or prank.
       Don’t say I didn’t warn you ... 


I’m a stickler for detail in both design and process.
       I develop and oversee the
design management processes
       that underpin all our
creative thinking.  


       I’ve spent the past twenty years drawing with ink and pixel juice as an interior designer/ architect … and they call it a job!
       I love how museum design fuses theatrical, digital and cultural aspects to weave together rich spatial narratives that you can emotionally connect with.


       Hello and welcome!
I am the first point of contact for visitors to Casson Mann,
       and generally manage the
day-to-day running of the company.


It has been a while now since we made our first installation in 1984.        Since then I have developed an increasing respect for the desires and eccentricities of the visitors who visit our projects -  as well as the wisdom they bring with them.
       Helping to create places that offer delight, unexpected 
connections and intoxicating ideas is the work that I now do. 


       For me, the story is always the starting point but our challenge as interior designers is how to transform that story into an engaging spatial experience.
       I am passionate about creating dramatically lit, beautiful spaces that are meticulously detailed; orchestrating all aspects of design – media, materiality, light, colour, sound, movement – into a holistic vision.




visit our work
gallery
gallery
21
1/21


 


Masterplan
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Another Label
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The Telegraph's New Openings
Three Michelin-starred Basque chef Eneko Atxa comes to London...
September 2016
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Finalist for SBID Awards 2016
In the Public Space Category for La Cité du Vin Exhibition
September 2016
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Finalist for SBID Awards 2016
In the Restaurant Design category for Eneko at One Aldwych...
September 2016
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Casson Mann in CLAD
London restaurant uses 'storytelling design' to celebrate Basque culture and cuisine...
August 2016
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Feature in the Caterer
Eneko at One Aldwych features in this weeks Caterer magazine...
August 2016
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Eneko at One Aldwych Restaurant
The first restaurant project for Casson Mann, Eneko at One Aldwych...
July 2016
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The Inspiration behind E@1A
Roger Mann's reveals the inspiration behind the design of Eneko at One Aldwych...
June 2016
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La Cité du Vin Now Open
The official inauguration took place on May 31st...
June 2016
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Bordeaux’s la cité du vin to debut in June 2016
ITS LIQUID reports on the opening of the permanent exhibition...
May 2016
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USA Today takes an inside look
The core visitor experience is the permanent exhibition...
May 2016
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Rencontre avec Casson Mann
Les scénographes londoniens de la Cité du Vin...
May 2016
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Bordeaux’s Extraordinary New Cité du Vin
Food & Wine report on CdV, as the new must-visit destination for any wine lover...
May 2016
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The Telegraph previews La Cité du Vin
First look inside Bordeaux's world-beating museum of wine...
May 2016
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France 3 visit Casson Mann
In a run-up to the Cité du Vin grand opening...
May 2016
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Decanter's Sneak Preview
Jane Anson gets a sneak preview tour of Bordeaux's €80m euro wine cultural centre...
May 2016
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One Aldwych new Restaurant
We are delighted to announce our collaboration with One Aldwych...
April 2016
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Casson Mann Launch New Website
Casson Mann celebrate 30 years of success with the launch of bold and playful new website...
April 2016
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Museum Experts features CdV and Lascaux
Annonce de l’ouverture en France de deux scénographies...
March 2016
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Welcome to our New Website
We are pleased to announce the launch of our New Website...
March 2016
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CdV & Casson Mann on France3 News
Featuring CM Project Manager Laure Cheung...
March 2016
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La Cité du Vin Press Release
Bordeaux unveils a landmark attraction with a permanent exhibition...
March 2016
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Lascaux opening December 15th 2016
A press event held on the site of Lascaux today...
March 2016
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CdV in the News
La Cité du Vin - Des meilleurs articles de la semaine
February 2016
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La Cité du Vin in Bloomberg
Bordeaux’s $81 Million Cité Du Vin Aims to Be the Guggenheim of Wine...
February 2016
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La Monde on La Cité du Vin
La Cité du vin de Bordeaux, musée grand cru...
February 2016
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Best of British Design
Great Expectations showcased in the Design Council's 70 years celebration...
February 2016
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The Guardian recommends Bordeaux
Where to go on holiday in 2016? ...
January 2016
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Winner of Design Week Awards 2015
for the First World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum...
2015
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Design Week Awards Hall of Fame
Dinah Casson is one of ten leading designers...
2015
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A great weekend spent in Blackpool...
A great weekend spent in Blackpool...
2015
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Winner of M&H Award 2015
Best Permanent Exhibition for the First World War Galleries...
2015
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Museum of the Year Finalist
The Imperial War Museum is a finalist for the Art Fund...
2015
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60 Second Interview with Roger Mann
Greenway Associates talk design with Roger
2015
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WW1 Touring Exhibition Opens
Having designed the critically acclaimed First World War Gallery...
2015
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WW1 Centenary Exhibition
Now open at the Melbourne Museum...
2015
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Auckland given the go ahead
Auckland Castle museum's £17m revamp given the go-ahead...
2015
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Casson Mann appointed for Nottingham Castle
CM are very pleased to join this exciting new project...
2015
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Le smartphone au coeur du musée du futur
Les Echos on Lascaux...
2015
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Shortlisted for the M&H Awards
for the First World War Galleries, Permanent Exhibition
2015
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Dippy the Dinosaur Twitter Chat
Casson Mann follows the national debate...
2015
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Hintze Hall Dippy Debates
The Natural History Museum reveal new plans for Hintze Hall...
2015
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CM wins NHM
Casson Mann are proud and delighted to announce that we will be working with the Natural History Museum...
2015
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Engineer Your Future Opening
The Prince of Wales opens new exhibition at the Science Museum London...
2014
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Beaney for Beautiful South Awards
Beaney House highly commended...
2014
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CdV in the Making
Report on the development of La Cité du Vin...
2014
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IWW in NYT
Edward Rothstein reviews the IWM's First World War Galleries...
2014
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Imperial War Museum - Now Open
The Duke of Cambridge and David Cameron open the new Galleries...
2014
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Shock: bringing the first world war to life
Roger Mann on connecting a 100-year-old conflict to a modern audience...
2014
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Engaging and Provoking
Telegraph's Mark Hudson describes the Imperial War Museum's new Galleries...
2014
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'Triumph' says The Times
We’re delighted with Richard Morrison’s brilliant review...
2014
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IWM London: Opening Soon
The countdown begins...
2014
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Beaney Wins Culture Award
Beaney House wins Cultural Landscape Award...
2014
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Shine a Light on the Detail of Design
An interview with Dinah & Roger for New Design Magazine...
2014
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Nominated for 'Best Permanent Exhibition'
Nelson, Navy, Nation nominated for M&H 'Best Permanent Exhibition' award...
2014
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Re-designing Franklin Museum
Dinah Casson talks to Museums & Heritage...
2014
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Tank, Trench & Camel
Roger Mann reveals how they installed the Mark V tank in the new gallery space...
2014
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Nelson in Museums Journal
The Museums Journal reviews Nelson, Navy, Nation...
2014
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Dinah Casson in Guardian Culture
We light, frame and stage, says Dinah Casson...
2013
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Stanley Spencer 'Exhibition of the Week'
Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War exhibition opens this week...
2013
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Nelson-era Navy
BBC News - The brutal world of the Nelson-era Navy...
2013
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Nelson, Navy, Nation
Latest exhibition design project is unveiled today at the National Maritime Museum in London...
2013
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V&A Podcast
Gary Shelley talks exhibition design with the V&A's Glenn Adamson and Moira Gemmill...
2013
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The Guardian reports on Nelson, Navy, Nation...
The Guardian reports on Nelson, Navy, Nation...
2013
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Praise for Frankin
Reviews for the new Benjamin Franklin Museum...
2013
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Meet The Man
Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia opens to visitors, after two years of renovation...
2013
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Extraordinary World Heritage Site
l'Arca international Magazine reports on Lascaux...
2013
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Wall Street Journal
Marjorie Backman talks to Dinah Casson...
2013
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Franklin & USA Today
USA Today gives Casson Mann's new Benjamin Franklin Museum a great review...
2013
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Beaney Wins Sandford Award
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge wins Heritage Education Award...
2013
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Talent on Display
FX Magazine talk about exhibition design with Casson Mann...
2013
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Hollywood Costume Wins D&AD Award
2013
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Nelson and HMS Victory
Casson Mann’s design for Nelson Navy Nation at the National Maritime...
2013
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Museum of the Year Finalist
The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge has been shortlisted for the Art Fund...
2013
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Highly Commended Treasures
'Highly Commended' in the Permanent Exhibition category...
2013
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ADC Design Award Winner
Hollywood Costume wins Bronze at Art Director's Club Design Awards...
2013
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HC Makes D&AD Shortlist
Casson Mann's design for Hollywood Costume has been nominated...
2013
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Luxury In Progress
We're excited to be featured in The LiP — Luxury In Progress...
2013
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Reimagining the Distant Past
Phaidon reports on Casson Mann and Snøhetta's designs for Lascaux...
2013
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Lascaux IV in dezeen
We're thrilled that dezeen picked up on our news...
2013
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Architect's Journal
We can't be more delighted...
2013
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Squint/Opera & HC
Casson Mann asked Squint/Opera to be our media partners...
2013
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The Show Must Go On
Hollywood Costume, the V&A's spectacular blockbuster...
2013
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Q&A in M&H
Casson Mann talk to Museums & Heritage
2013
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...and ACTION!
The V&A have created this film showing the backstory of the Hollywood Costume exhibition...
2013
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Lighting Design Award
Atmosphere Galleries at the Science Museum win the 2012 Lighting Design Award...
2013
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Starring Role in SCMP
Hollywood Costume is in the news again as it takes centre stage in South China...
2012
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National Treasures
Treasures gallery at the Natural History Museum to be opened by the Duchess of Cambridge...
2012
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Lascaux Legacy
Appointed to create the new visitor experience for Lascaux...
2012
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Treasures in Pictures
For a closer look at the Treasures on show...
2012
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Hidden in Plain Sight
The V&A have organised a conference...
2012
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On YouTube
Hollywood Costume at the V&A video reviews...
2012
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Round Up
Hollywood Costume at the V&A is being celebrated far and wide...
2012
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Creative Wizardry
Brian Sibley gives Hollywood Costume and Casson Mann a fantastic review...
2012
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Saturday Review
Commended on Radio 4's weekly review of cultural highlights...
2012
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Big Day
As the V&A opens Hollywood Costume, Roger Mann and Gary Shelley talk about their role as exhibition...
2012
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To Oz
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)...
2012
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A Closer Look
Casson Mann's original exhibition design and choreography met with overwhelming delight...
2012
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The Back Story
Exploring and creating exciting ways to engage and re-engage visitors in the story of costume design...
2012
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Faces in Motion
Hollywood Costume at the V&A is all about the development of character...
2012
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Film, not Fashion
The Guardian's fashion editor Jess Cartnerâ-Morley's insightful review of Hollywood Costume...
2012
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In The Guardian
Hollywood Costume gets a fantastic in-depth review from The Guardian...
2012
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News Buzz
The pre-launch buzz around Hollywood Costume...
2012
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At the V&A
Casson Mann creates a compelling 'behind the scenes' experience...
2012
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BBC Preview
Watch the BBC's preview coverage of the Hollywood Costume exhibition...
2012
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In the Top 10
Casson Mann named one of its Top 10 most awarded design studios...
2012
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The Beaney
The Beaney Insitute: an exciting springboard into exploration...
2012
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A New Kind of Museum
Museum Insider reports on La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux...
2012
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Clothes Maketh the Movie Star
The Sunday Times reports on Hollywood Costume...
2012
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Al Gore tweets about Atmosphere Gallery
Fascinating, extremely well done, exhibit on the climate crisis and more...
2011
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CdV 2011 Press Coverage
2011's coverage of La Cité du Vin...
2011
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Casson Mann win DBA GOLD Award
The Design Effectiveness Award for the Great North Museum...
2011
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Atmosphere Wins MUSE Award
Under the category of 'Interpretive Interactive Installations'...
2011
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Who Am I? Gallery Commendation
Who Am I? Gallery receives Design Week 'Installations' Commendation
2011
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RIBA Award
The Great North Museum wins RIBA award...
2011
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Design Week Award for Great North
The Great North Museum receives a Design Week commendation...
2011
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Atmosphere Opening
Coverage of the 'Atmosphere Gallery' opening at the Science Museum, London...
2010
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Atmosphere Press Release
Frozen ice cores, stalagmites, tree rings, radiometers and weather balloons...
2010
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FX Award for Churchill Museum
For Best Museum, Exhibition or Installation Design...
2007
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Outstanding Achievement in Digital Installations
Churchill Museum Awarded a D&AD Yellow Pencil...
2007
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Council of Europe Museum Award
Churchill Museum wins Council of Europe Museum Award...
2007
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Design Week Joint Winner
Churchill Museum's Lifeline Table Awarded...
2007
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Design Week Awards Winner
Churchill Museum wins Design Week Award...
2007
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Churchill Museum 'worth the wait'
Reviews on the Churchill Museum, London...
2005
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Putting on the Glitz
Reviews of 'Art Deco 1910 - 1939' at the V&A, London...
2003
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A Triumph of Curatorial Ingenuity
The Telegraph's Giles Worsley reviews our exhibition 'British Galleries' at the V&A...
2001
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British Galleries Press
Press coverage of the 'British Galleries' at the V&A, London...
2001
Eneko at One Aldwych
Eneko at One Aldwych
La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin
The Caves at Lascaux
The Caves at Lascaux
Hintze Hall
Hintze Hall
WW1 Centenary Exhibition
WW1 Centenary Exhibition
Engineer Your Future
Engineer Your Future
First World War Galleries
First World War Galleries
Atrium Galleries
Atrium Galleries
Benjamin Franklin Museum
Benjamin Franklin Museum
Nelson, Navy, Nation
Nelson, Navy, Nation
MAST
MAST
Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War
Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
Hollywood Costume
Hollywood Costume
Treasures
Treasures
Who Am I?
Who Am I?
Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes
Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes
Atmosphere: Exploring Climate Science
Atmosphere: Exploring Climate Science
Great North Museum
Great North Museum
Museolobby
Museolobby
Casson Mann Studio
Casson Mann Studio
Exhibition Space for Zaya
Exhibition Space for Zaya
Horus Capital
Horus Capital
Camouflage
Camouflage
For Your Eyes Only
For Your Eyes Only
Time Galleries
Time Galleries
Making Faces: 18th Century Style
Making Faces: 18th Century Style
Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon
Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon
Churchill War Rooms
Churchill War Rooms
Portrait Miniatures Gallery
Portrait Miniatures Gallery
Energy Gallery: Fuelling the Future
Energy Gallery: Fuelling the Future
Energy Ring
Energy Ring
Art Deco 1910 - 1939
Art Deco 1910 - 1939
Sparking Reaction
Sparking Reaction
Gallery of Craft and Design
Gallery of Craft and Design
Crimes Against Humanity
Crimes Against Humanity
British Galleries
British Galleries
Great Expectations
Great Expectations
...Comment
...Comment
The Garden
The Garden
Big Day
As the V&A opens Hollywood Costume, Roger Mann and Gary Shelley talk about their role as exhibition...
View Project
Hollywood Costume
As the V&A opens Hollywood Costume to the public, Roger Mann and Gary Shelley talk about their role as exhibition designers and what they set out to achieve.

“What we do is tell stories, as exhibition designers that’s our job. We deal with any number of different types of collections of objects, each which have stories. And of course film costumes are heavily connected to stories” says Roger Mann.

“As a film fan you’ll be incredibly passionate about working on a project like Hollywood Costume”, explains Gary Shelley “but as an exhibition designer you have to be passionate about what the public are going to see and also the process of exhibition design, the space it’s going in, the resources given to us, the time we have to build it – all those sorts of practical aspects but still somehow do the subject justice”.

"This is nothing like the V&A have ever had, I think”, adds Mann, “as a decorative arts museum they’re used to putting on fantastic shows about beautiful objects that can stand on their own and appreciated for if nothing else their aesthetic qualities and Hollywood Costume is not that. These costumes are not decorative objects and we have to be that much more playful, that much more magical with them, much more engaging, we have to help them come alive. So we use media, projections and a lot of film but also more playful things in this exhibition where we are trying to bring out a fuller range of emotions such as you get when you go to see a movie”.

“So our thinking behind the exhibition design is the ‘behind the scenes’ view, that kind of privileged access that we can give the visitor to the stars of the screen and they’ll be in the same gallery with them” concludes Shelley.

To Oz
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)...
View Project
Hollywood Costume
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) have announced that they will be hosting Hollywood Costume as of April 2013 and Casson Mann will be on board to creatively direct the exhibition as it is adapted for the venue.
Casson Mann’s co-founder and creative director Roger Mann says “We’re delighted to remain involved as Hollywood Costume begins its international tour and look forward to working with the ACMI to ensure that our exhibition design works as well in their space it it does in the V&A”.

Read the full details in:

Art Victoria
ACMI brings Hollywood Costume to Victoria

The Australian
ACMI to get Hollywood Costume exhibit

News Buzz
The pre-launch buzz around Hollywood Costume...
View Project
Hollywood Costume
The pre-launch buzz around Hollywood Costume, designed by Casson Mann, is building; here’s a round-up of what’s in the news so far…

The Times readers get the back story on Jack Sparrow, Darth Vader and many more… http://www.thetimes.co.uk

The Telegraph’s fashion and culture readers have followed the development of this exhibition since first announced in January 2012 with a number of stories:
Hollywood’s most memorable costumes to go on display
Marilyn Monroe’s Seven Year Itch dress to go on show at V&A

The Daily Mail leads with Kiera Knightley’s donation of the purple silk grown from Anna Karenina:
Kiera Knightley’s Anna Karenina gown unveiled…

The Evening Standard highlights the white suit from Saturday Night Fever and praises the use of face projections to enliven the costumes.

Read the full review here: Hollywood Costume, V&A
And blogger Ms PLT includes a selection of images from the exhibition in her blog review at Pretty Luscious Things

Creative Wizardry
Brian Sibley gives Hollywood Costume and Casson Mann a fantastic review...
View Project
Hollywood Costume
The inimitable broadcaster and writer Brian Sibley gives Hollywood Costume and Casson Mann a fantastic review, saying:

“To compensate for the absence of flesh and blood bodies, the superb design of this exhibition – the work of Casson Mann design practice – imbues the costumes with surrogate life through the highly creative use of sound and lighting and imaginative projections and animations.”

“The creative wizardry supporting and surrounding these often legendary clothes is particularly well used in ‘Act One’ of the exhibition which deconstructs costume design: showing how Marit Allen’s seemingly ‘off-the-peg’ cowboy outfits worn by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain were, in fact, anything but; and how the component parts of Indiana Jones costume developed out of a sketch by Steven Speilberg  from well-worn hat (aged with oil and fullers earth and a lot scrunging and sitting on) down to his boots and, of course, whip.”

“‘Act Two’ of the exhibition is a series of ingeniously staged (and thoughtfully subtitled) dialogues between actors, directors and designers: Tim Burton and Colleen Atwood talk about Sweeney Todd across Mrs Lovett’s pie-making table onto which are projected images and clips and, every now and again, a gory spattering of blood!”

Read the full piece here Hollywood: Made to Measure

Nelson-era Navy
BBC News - The brutal world of the Nelson-era Navy...
View Project
Nelson, Navy, Nation
BBC News – The brutal world of the Nelson-era Navy.
Co-curator Quentin Colville of the National Maritime Museum talks about the new exhibition against a backdrop of several of the most famous painting of the day which are on view in the new Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery.

Wall Street Journal
Marjorie Backman talks to Dinah Casson...
View Project
Benjamin Franklin Museum
In the Wall Street Journal’s arts and entertainment blog Speakeasy, writer Marjorie Backman talks to Dinah Casson and curators Rosalynd Remer and Page Talbott of Remer & Talbott about what the new exhibition reveals about the iconic Founding Father Benjamin Franklin.

Read the entertaining and insightful piece here:
Wall Street Journal Speakeasy ‘Ben Franklin Gets a Makeover’

On YouTube
Hollywood Costume at the V&A video reviews...
View Project
Hollywood Costume
If you haven’t seen Hollywood Costume at the V&A yet, we’ve found some great video reviews on YouTube that give you a glimpse of the amazing costumes, the media and narrative techniques that Casson Mann use to tell the story of costume design.

Hollywood Costumes Exhibition Opens in London by WallStreetJournalDigital Network

Iconic Hollywood Costumes Exhibited in London by AFP

Hollywood Costume: Exhibition Highlights from V&A London by acmionline

Hollywood Costume Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert by TheVintageNews

V&A Hollywood Costume Exhibition a preview by Jenny Lee for Art Wednesday

New London ‘Hollywood Costume’ exhibit opens by JewishNewsOne

Hollywood Costume sponsored by Harry Winston by TheJewelleryEditor

100 years of Hollywood costumes by WorldTodayHeadlines ©BBC

In the Top 10
Casson Mann named one of its Top 10 most awarded design studios...
At the D&AD/50 celebration Casson Mann was named one of its Top 10 most awarded design studios!

On September 18th, British Design and Art Direction celebrated its 50th anniversary and as it delved into its archives, named the agencies and design studios that had won most awards for creative excellence during the past fifty years.

Casson Mann is delighted to sit alongside peers from product, graphic, brand, identity, packaging and interior design including Pentagram Design, Studio Dumbar, Carroll Dempsey & Thirkell, The Partners, Michael Peters and Partners, Minale Tattersfield & Partners, Farrow Design and Crosbey/Fletcher/Forbes. And, of course, Apple’s design studio under Sir Jonathan Ive.

British Galleries
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
2001
Visitor ExperienceProjectClientWebsiteAwardsRelated News [2]
Visitor Experience
“The real excitement of the Galleries is seeing so many different objects in so many different materials together.  They are an extraordinary feast, with lots of hands-on fun bits, not only for children, but also for adults.”          
Corinne Julius, Evening Standard

Project
The refurbishment of the 15 British galleries was the most ambitious project ever undertaken at the V&A. Paintings, drawings and prints are displayed alongside costume, textiles, furniture, glass and ceramics, together with five complete period rooms.  There are study areas, video rooms, discovery areas for families and interactives.
 
Our design intent was that visitors would feel and recognise the story, rather than learn or read about it.  We did away with ‘too much text’, too much dependency on eyes and we introduced touch and sound.  We varied the pace, texture, acoustic, density, colour and interactivity. In this exhibition 3,000 objects are distributed over 3,000 square metres; but the story is irresistible.  

Client
Victoria and Albert Museum

“Casson Mann ... are exceptionally committed and talented designers.  They care deeply not only about the finished product but also about the integrity of the design process at every stage.”
 Christopher Wilk
Keeper, Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department

Website

Awards
2003 European Museum of the Year

Related News [2]

Art Deco 1910 - 1939
Victoria and Albert, London
Summer 2003
Visitor ExperienceProjectClientAwardsRelated News [1]
Visitor Experience
'This exhibition is big, beautiful, intelligent and seductive – a show it would be ridiculous to miss.’
Fiona MacCarthy, The Guardian

Project
Attracting 0.3 million visitors over six months in 2003, Art Deco was the most visited temporary exhibition ever held at the V&A - until Hollywood Costume in 2013. 
 
With furniture, graphics, textiles, fashion, architecture, interior design and more, the exhibition was a comprehensive review of this most accessible, yet complex, of styles. The exhibition installation evoked memories of childhood, grandparents and attics. A reconstruction of Rulhmann’s room in the Paris exhibition in 1925;  film footage of Josephine Baker’s banana dance; a reconstruction of the magnificent Strand Palace Hotel entrance; and, finally, the spectacular 1935 Auburn Boat-tail Speedster car, enabled visitors to relive the period with all its glamour and luxury. 

Art Deco alone aims at glamour – and not glamour only, but sexual allure ... Casson Mann, who designed the sleek, chic, installation for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Art Deco exhibition, understands this perfectly.”
Richard Dormant, Daily Telegraph

Client
The Victoria and Albert Museum

Awards
2004 Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence shortlisted
2004 FX Award for Best Exhibition Design finalist

Related News [1]

Churchill War Rooms
Cabinet War Rooms, London
2005
ProjectClientWebsiteAwardsRelated News [6]
Project
“This visitor experience is tactile and pre-digital reflecting a mid-century, analogue, paper-driven world using contemporary technology to retain a sense of opening dusty files in an archive.”
Jeremy Hildreth, Wall Street Journal
 
This is the first museum in Britain dedicated to the life and achievements of a single politician. With no precedent to dictate what the public might expect, Casson Mann set out to create an experience that allows the visitor to leave feeling that they have physically met the man.  
 
This installation is a fusion of historic objects and 70 specially commissioned audio-visual exhibits. It features sophisticated interactives that explore the famous speeches, political tactics, moments of decision and the years of isolation. The 17-metre Lifeline Table is laid out with virtual manila folders for each year of Churchill’s life containing 3,000 documents, photographs and film clips.
 
 “Casson Mann’s unique ability to understand, interpret and translate into imaginative design solutions our most vague and notional ideas and needs produced a museum that receives constant professional credit and public approval years after opening.”
Phil Reed, Director of the Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms  

Client
Imperial War Museum

Website

Awards
2006 Council of Europe Museum Award
2006 D&AD Yellow Pencil for Outstanding Achievement in Digital Installations
2006 D&AD Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Digital Installations
2006 Design Week Awards Joint Winner Interactive Media – Information
2006 Design Week Awards Winner Museums, Galleries & Visitor Attractions
2006 FX Award Best Museum, Exhibition or Installation Design
2005 Gulbenkian Prize shortlist
2005 The Group Leisure Industry Awards Best New Attraction
2005 Visit London Bronze Award for Large Visitor Attraction
2005 The AHI (Association for Heritage Interpretation) Interpret Britain & Ireland Award
2005 AV Magazine Awards: Consumer Installation of the Year
2005 The Joint Award for Outstanding Achievement

Related News [6]

Great North Museum
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
2009
Visitor ExperienceProjectClientWebsiteAwardsRelated News [3]
Visitor Experience
“It’s impossible for a child to visit this place and not absolutely love it! As an adult visiting with other adults, I thoroughly enjoyed myself”
Visitor quote from Dooyoo Review

Project
Casson Mann transformed the original, much-loved Hancock museum, creating 11 new galleries and a stunning new museum for the north of England.
 
Visitors make a series of surprising and delightful journeys through the collections - to the Living Planet, where they come face to face with a full-sized elephant, to Hadrian’s Wall, which includes an interactive model and a wealth of archaeological finds, and to World Cultures, which presents treasures from all over the world. Each gallery contains a rich mix of interpretative techniques - immersive spaces, films, projections, interactives and animal displays.
 
Designed to engage local families, as well as students and researchers, the museum has been an enormous success.

Client
Newcastle University / Tyne & Wear Museums

“The project has contributed significantly to the region’s tourism and economic impact targets, and is currently the most visited attraction in the North East”
Steve McLean,  Former Senior Manager, Great North Museum

“The staggering success of the Museum more than justifies its 'Great’ title.”
Professor Eric Cross, Dean of Cultural Affairs at Newcastle University

Website

Awards
2011 DBA Design Effectiveness Gold Award
2010 Design Week Award for Museums, Galleries and Visitor
2010 RIBA Award
2010 Arts Fund Prize 2010: nomination
2009 British Interactive Media Award 

Related News [3]

Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
Canterbury, Kent
2012
Visitor ExperienceProjectClientWebsiteAwardsRelated News [5]
Visitor Experience
“It really is a wonderful museum”
Bob and Roberta Smith

Project
The Beaney’s collections span ethnology, natural history, archaeology, decorative and fine art.  Casson Mann worked with the museum and architects to encourage visitors from the adjacent library to go into the galleries too. 
 
Introducing the collections is a huge Cabinet of Curiosities – stuffed birds, Greek vases, regimental trophies, Siberian maps, shoes and muskets – filling the room with variety and interest. Central tables equipped with drawers, irresistible investigative tools, and learning games provide fun for visitors and objects for study can be changed by the staff on a daily basis. The atmosphere is welcoming and family friendly and its open arms are succeeding: visitor figures increased by 190% after reopening.   

Client
Canterbury County Council / Kent County Council

I want to thank you for taking on board the initial vision, for honing and reshaping it with us, and for creating the magic the process of managing all the hardwrought stages of professional design from pen to production that has made the Beaney art museum happen
Ken Reedie, Curator of Museums and Galleries for Canterbury City Council

Website

Awards
2014 Beautiful South Awards Highly Commended
2013 Art Fund Museum of the Year shortlisted
2013 Heritage Education Trust Sanford Award
2013 Culture Awards - Cultural Landscape Award

Related News [5]

Museolobby
Stanislavski Factory Building, Stanislavskogo, Moscow
2008
ProjectClientWebsite
Project
Museolobby is a descriptive title for a special place - a mixture of museum, lobby, cafe and business centre - designed inside a historic building.  Once, it was the entrance to the Stanislavski factory, manufacturers of gold and silver thread, owned by Konstantin Stanislavski, founder of the first acting system.

Inspired by elements of theatre and performance, Casson Mann partially removed the first floor level to create a flytower – a void hovering over a timber floor.  Visitors ‘perform’ on the wooden stage, watched by others engaged with their meetings. The seating is comfortable, with lights and huge screens made from woven ‘silver’ and ‘gold’. The effect is one of quality, elegance and careful thought. 

Client
Horus Capital

Website

Horus Capital
Stanislavskogo, Moscow
2007
ProjectClient
Project
Casson Mann designed a new open-plan environment for Horus Capital’s Moscow offices. A single timber walkway extends from the chairman’s office to the boardroom,  where it becomes the boardroom table. Along the length of the walkway, workstations branch out and there are embedded cellular glass offices, creating a sense of openness and involvement.
 
The fly-tower in the lobby beneath cuts through the walkway, forging a direct connection between the office spaces and the Museolobby, and allowing glimpses of the fly-tower mechanism. In reception, an interactive desk reacts and changes as visitors approach. Virtual clocks display the time in different world cities.

Client
Horus Capital

Who Am I?
Science Museum, London
2010
ProjectClientWebsiteAwardsRelated News [1]
Project
The revamped exhibit updates both the science and the design of the 10-year-old gallery, bringing it bang up to date with the very latest advances in genetic research.”
Duncan Geere, Wired.co.uk

After ten successful years, the Who am I? gallery was re-made by Casson Mann with new, updated content. Retaining the popular, laboratory-inspired aesthetic of the original, Casson Mann introduced more solid colours, complemented by calm white light. We made the gallery more open-plan, with integrated floor and wall projections,  and new, hard-wearing rubber floors.
 
The new gallery features historic objects, specially commissioned artworks and many, interactive multimedia exhibits and games. Visitors are able to morph their faces, predict how their voices will change over the years, experience a voice-box makeover and consider how the family gene pool and interactions with others help shape our identity.

Client
Science Museum

The result is a gallery which feels both familiar and significantly different – and more beautiful than ever.”
Professor Tim Molloy,  Head of Creative Direction at the Science Museum

Website

Awards
2011 Design Week Award for Installations - Commendation

Related News [1]

Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes
Imperial War Museum, London
2010
Visitor ExperienceProjectClientWebsite
Visitor Experience
Tucked away on the fourth floor of the museum, visiting the Lord Ashcroft Gallery feels a bit like  climbing into the loft of a big old house. And the incredible personal stories, medals, diaries, old comics and items of clothing only serve to feed the feeling you’re exploring a wonderful attic room.”
Zoe Craig, Senior Editor at visitlondon.com

Project
Extraordinary Heroes displays the 162 Victoria Crosses owned by the Michael A Ashcroft Trust alongside the 48 VCs and 31 George Crosses held by the IWM. The challenge was to present 241 medals, each with its own citation and personal story, without overwhelming visitors.
 
The design features seven distinct displays, each describing a ‘quality’ of bravery. Each of the seven plinths is made from materials which reflect the content: for example, ‘Boldness’ is wrapped in steel plate, blasted through by shell fire; ‘Sacrifice’ from standing solid oak hearts with one lying fallen. The dense mix of artefacts, multimedia, interactives, sound and texture creates a gallery that is visually rich and immediately engaging.

Client
Imperial War Museum

Website

Hollywood Costume
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Autumn 2012
ProjectClientOpenedWebsiteAwardsRelated News [25]
Project
... a conspicuously intelligent display, with a revealing story to tell.
Waldemar Januszczak, The Sunday Times

Hollywood Costume occupied three galleries and delivered an absolute star-burst of evocative movie characters. From Dorothy, Scarlett O’Hara and Elizabeth I, Indiana Jones, Robert De Niro’s Jake La Motta and Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher, it presented the iconic outfits - the sparkly red shoes, Indy’s hat and jacket, Jack Sparrow’s hat - which made those characters mythical. 
 
Matt black stage environments and studio lighting evoked a movie set, giving visitors a privileged view. They followed the journey from script to screen, playing an integral part in the process of creating characters. They could read scripts, see sketches and listen in on conversations between the director, actor and designer. Music, animation and a wealth of detail created an unforgettable visitor experience. 

Client
Victoria & Albert Museum

Rarely have I been in an exhibition which connected so very directly to the lives and memories of visitors.”
Christopher Wilke
Keeper, Furniture, Textiles and Fashion department, V&A

Opened
October 2012 – January 2013

Website

Awards
2013 Art Directors Club Awards Bronze
2013 D&AD In Book Award Spatial Design category

Related News [25]


 
La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux, Aquitaine,
Opened June 2016
ProjectClientWebsiteRelated News [20]
Project
La Cité du Vin is the world’s largest visitor centre dedicated to the story of wine, and a landmark attraction in the heart of Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world.
 
Within Parisian architects X-Tu’s eye-catching building, Casson Mann have created an immersive, interactive and sensory visitor experience. Extending over 3,000 sqm, 24 different, large-scale exhibits range from spectacular helicopter fly-overs of the world’s most stunning vineyards, to intimate galleries in which visitors can examine the detail of historical documents and artefacts close up. Casson Mann was responsible for conceptualising and art directing all elements of the permanent visitor experience, including audio-visual and media. 

‘There will of course be a cultural aspect to the site, explaining the history of wine, but it also will be a tourist hub for guiding visitors to the region and hospitality centre with restaurants and bars. There will be office space for companies in the wine industry.'
Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux 

Client
Mairie de Bordeaux

Website

Related News [20]

Treasures
Natural History Museum, London
2012
ProjectClientWebsiteAwardsRelated News [4]
Project
“A mix of slick design and stunning objects...beautifully executed interpretation screens...a whole world is drawn from this perfect cabinet of curiosities...”
Katy Barrett, British Society for 18th Century Studies

Treasures is a celebration of the Natural History Museum’s collection, showcasing just 22 of its 70 million priceless specimens. Casson Mann created a simple, but striking, centrally-placed display plinth that makes the specimens the focus of the room. Each object has its own case to be appreciated alone. However, the monolithic black granite plinth brings them together into one dramatic installation.
 
Dinosaur tooth, meteorite, and an Emperor Penguin egg collected on Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition - each object has its own story, which visitors explore through interactive digital labels alongside each case.  To bring warmth and animation to the gallery, LED lights wash each label stand with colour that complements the stained glass windows.

Client
Natural History Museum

“We were extremely happy with Casson Mann’s performance in all capacities.  The Treasures gallery opened in November 2012, on time and on budget, and we are pleased that the level of service Casson Mann provided through the project continued to opening and beyond.”
Wanda Sheridan, Project Director Treasures Gallery, Natural History Museum

Website

Awards
2013 Museums and Heritage Awards - highly commended

Related News [4]

The Caves at Lascaux
Le Centre International de l’Art Pariétal Montignac, Dordogne,
Opening December 2016
ProjectClientWebsiteRelated News [8]
Project
Casson Mann is designing a visitor attraction at the World Heritage Site of Lascaux that features a new, state-of-the-art facsimile of the paleolithic painted cave. The real Lascaux cave closed in 1963, but the facsimile replicates not only the paintings, drawings and engravings, but the acoustic, and environmental conditions. Buried underground, the facsimile offers a visit as authentic as it is possible to make.
 
Within a series of interpretive galleries, visitors further interrogate the art, techniques and the prehistoric context.  Each gallery houses an immersive, interactive exhibition. Visitors are equipped with an ‘explorer’s torch’: a bespoke multimedia guide that interacts with exhibits, offering augmented experiences and deeper levels of information. 

Client
Conseil Départemental de la Dordogne

Website

Related News [8]

Benjamin Franklin Museum
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
September 2013
Visitor ExperienceProjectClientWebsiteRelated News [5]
Visitor Experience
“The Benjamin Franklin Museum’s techno gadgets and virtual presentations bring visitors up to speed on one of Philadelphia’s most famous residents in a style that would wow Franklin himself.”
Diane W. Stoneback, The Morning Call

Project
Located underground beneath Franklin Court, site of Franklin’s former house, this is the only museum in the United States dedicated to a full exploration of Benjamin Franklin.
 
Our first task was to make the museum arrival point more immediately visible; and link the upstairs and downstairs within a new entrance pavilion.  In the museum, we told Franklin’s story through a series of rooms that correspond to the rooms of the (now missing) house above: dining room, parlour, bedroom ... Franklin’s library is presented as an immersive installation that touches on his legacy as a scientist, correspondent, inventor, book collector, politician, and writer of the most widely read biography in the world. 

“I absolutely loved it because it is interactive. I think museums can be boring but BFM made my experience here fun! Plenty of short videos and interactive elements built in to the museum. Short stories were told in cartoon format. You were also allowed to touch a lot of objects around!” 
Maria G.  Yelp

Client
National Park Service / The Pew Charitable Trusts

Website

Related News [5]

Nelson, Navy, Nation
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
October 2013
Visitor ExperienceProjectClientWebsiteAwardsRelated News [6]
Visitor Experience
“the gallery succeeds in telling the story of the navy as well as the personal stories of the officers and ordinary sailors, while providing pride of place to the star of the show, Nelson.”
Stephen Lowy, Curator at the Red House Museum, Winchester and freelance museum consultant.

Project
A gem of a gallery which presents the stories of Nelson, Emma Hamilton and the Battle of Trafalgar within the context of a nation gradually gaining global command of the sea. The exhibition takes visitors through three different, story-filled environments exploring life on land, at sea and below deck.  
 
Brass, navy blue, wood and dramatic lighting create an engaging and beautiful installation. Large ship models, glittering uniforms, silver prizes, sparkling instruments of navigation, naval surgery and war sit alongside fine sea paintings from the Museum’s collections. The death of Nelson is presented in a dark, contemplative space. Here, visitors see the blood-stained stockings and waistcoat,  and the iconic jacket, the bullet wound clearly visible. 

Client
National Maritime Museum

“Nelson, Navy, Nation has set a new standard for the Museum”
Megan Thomas, Senior Exhibitions Project Manager, Royal Museums Greenwich

Website

Awards
2014 Museums and Heritage Awards - nominated for best permanent exhibition category

Related News [6]

The Garden
Science Museum, London
1996
ProjectClientAwards
Project
In the Science Museum’s basement, the Garden is a gallery created specifically for young children aged 3 to 6.
 
Our brief was to create an interactive gallery that would introduce the basic principles of science through fun, hands-on experimentation and play. The result is a journey through three very different landscapes, with exciting activities, secret dens and strange sounds along the way – giant blue tubes that carry whispers; buckets and hoists; a lop-sided shed. The journey ends with fibre-optic trees and a flying saucer that radiates the colours of white light.  The Garden continues to be one of the most popular family spaces of the Museum. 

Client
Science Museum

Awards
1996 Design Week Award for Permanent Exhibition Design

...Comment
Science Museum, London
2000
ProjectClientAwards
Project
All of the Wellcome Wing galleries are overlooked by the huge Visitor Feedback Installation that we created in conjunction with Itch. A vast network of comments and responses fed in at a number of input terminals are transformed into lines of light as they enter the network, revealing their message at a series of stations. These points of data were created to have animal-like moments of animation, bumping into other messages and interacting with them – bouncing off, slowing down, and speeding up.

Client
Science Museum

Awards
2001 FX Interior Design Award for Best Exhibition Design - finalist certificates
2001 D&AD Silver Award
2001 D&AD Annual
2001 D&AD Gold Award
2001 Art Directors Club of Europe Gold Award for Exhibition Design

Gallery of Craft and Design
Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
2002
ProjectClientAwards
Project
Casson Mann created a new Gallery of Craft and Design for Manchester City Art Gallery, set within the transformed former Athenaeum Club theatre. The collection includes more than 1,000 decorative art objects: ceramics, glass, metalwork, costume - even doll’s houses. The aim was to offer visitors a guiding rather than a controlling hand, allowing them to make their own journeys around the gallery. Objects were gathered into three main stories: Making, Memory and Collecting. The design evokes memories of the Athenaeum’s history as a private theatre: the perimeter walls whispering sounds from past theatrical performances, and the showcases and plinths in rows facing the old stage. 

Client
Manchester Art Gallery

Awards
2010 Large Visitor Attraction of the Year: Manchester Tourism Awards
2010 Northwest Tourism Awards
2010 Tourism Experience of the Year

Great Expectations
Grand Central Station, New York
2001
ProjectClientAwardsRelated News [1]
Project
Commissioned as part of a festival titled UKinNY, Great Expectations was a major touring exhibition, initially installed in the Vanderbilt Hall in New York’s Grand Central Station. This towering space of pink marble and gold chandeliers sees thousands of people rushing through daily.
 
We made a giant light box, displaying 100 objects, filling the space like a long banqueting table. The design evoked that moment when, after dessert, the remains of place settings lie scattered, and serious conversations begin. A gap through the table, designed to look as though the table cloth had flown up, allowed people to keep moving. Theatre lights cast colour, visible from 42nd Street, across the walls and windows.

Client
Design Council

Awards
2002 Design Week Award for Best Exhibition Design
2002 Design Week Best of Show
2002 FX Interior Design Award for Best Exhibition Design

Related News [1]

Sparking Reaction
Sellafield, Cumbria,
May 2002
ProjectClientAwards
Project
Casson Mann designed the exhibition space, admissions area and retail facilities at Sellafield Visitor Centre. With a dramatic, immersive design, the exhibition draws visitors into the debate around power production in the 21st century. Text is used as a powerful, environmental feature with large-scale, questions, statements and images projected onto the floor and walls. A series of animations work to reveal and conceal the text, intriguing and engaging visitors. Text is also updated with visitors’ opinions.
 
Exhibition interactives sit within bright pink-painted steel polyhedral forms and a pink UV lit tunnel leads to the entirely red Immersion Cinema, the first interactive cinema in the UK. 

Client
Science Museum (Sellafield, Cumbria)

Awards
2003 D&AD Silver Award
2003 D&AD Annual
2003 Art Directors Club of Europe Gold Award for Exhibition Design

Energy Gallery: Fuelling the Future
Science Museum, London
2004
DescriptionClientWebsiteAwards
Description
The Energy Gallery invites visitors, especially school-age children, to explore how energy powers every aspect of our lives. Our design needed to give unity and cohesion to eleven installations by different contributors, but also to allow each to speak as an individual piece. We placed one installation as the central point, with the others at a tangent: as if there were a single point of energy with others networked from it.
 
Creating a beacon to the gallery, the Energy Ring hangs in the three-storey atrium of the East Hall. The ring, with its 40m long, wrapped LED screen, is sculptural and interactive, changing in response to visitors answering questions on the gallery terminals.

Client
Science Museum

Website

Awards
2005 D&AD Annual
2005 D&AD Silver Nomination for Outstanding Achievement
2005 Design Week Award for Best Exhibition Design

Energy Ring
Energy Gallery, Science Museum, London
2004
ProjectClientAwards
Project
The Energy Ring is a suspended, 13-metre diameter aluminium ring at the entrance to the Science Museum. Casson Mann’s brief was to create a ‘beacon’ for the Energy Gallery, on the museum’s second floor. The ring is sculptural, but also interactive. Inside, there is a 40-metre long, white LED screen wrapped to form a ring of dynamic white light. Visitors influence the patterns of light which shoot around the interior by inputting answers to questions about energy at touch-screen terminals, such as should we have energy-free days, or what flavour is electricity? The ring’s size, brightness and wide viewing angle make it visible from almost every point in the East Hall. 

Client
Science Museum

Awards
2005 D&AD Annual
2005 D&AD Silver Nomination for Outstanding Achievement

Making Faces: 18th Century Style
Beningbrough Hall, York
2006
ProjectClientWebsite
Project
Beningbrough Hall is an 18th-century mansion in Yorkshire, owned by the National Trust.  It is also home to a collection of portraits, on loan through a partnership with the National Portrait Gallery. On the top floors of the house, Casson Mann created interactive galleries that use high and low tech interpretation to bring the portraits sensitively to life. Visitors can dress up in masks and costumes; touch real and replica objects; or even create a unique digital portrait to hang briefly alongside the other portraits. Casson Mann designed the wayfinding within the house and exhibition areas, incorporating cut-outs from the paintings on display. 

Client
National Portrait Gallery & The National Trust

Website

Portrait Miniatures Gallery
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
2005
ProjectClientWebsite
Project
Miniature paintings are personal, designed to be held and viewed closely, so our design for this gallery aimed to maximise visitors’ intimate engagement with these tiny treasures. We concentrated on designing cases, in collaboration with the showcase makers, Goppion, that would bring visitors as close to the art as possible. To this end, the glass runs parallel to the panel on which the artwork sits, both angled at 70 degrees. Flanking graphic displays create a triptych, which appears to ‘fold out’, revealing the precious objects. The height of the case allows visitors to see comfortably whether standing, or in a wheelchair or seated on the stools provided. Magnifying glasses are available on each case.

Client
Victoria and Albert Museum

Website

Camouflage
Imperial War Museum, London
2007
ProjectClient
Project
Our brief was to tell the story of camouflage and its relationship with art - from Cubism inspiring a new approach to military design, to artists conceiving the idea of dazzle paintings on ships. The exhibition itself became an exercise in dazzle. We created an abstracted ‘landscape’ – cutting and folding the walls and floor, covering the environment with strange geometric shapes and fractured patterns of colour.
 
The objects ranged from uniforms, hand-painted aprons and hoods to fine art, haute couture and photographs. The exhibition landscape created a unifying context and the objects, some of them designed not to be seen, stood out – allowing visitors to appreciate their power, and surprising beauty.

Client
Imperial War Museum

For Your Eyes Only
Imperial War Museum, London
2008-9
ProjectClientOpened
Project
This was first major exhibition dedicated to the life and work of the man who created James Bond. It looked at Fleming’s life through the lens of biographical influences on the Bond novels; notably how Fleming’s wartime experiences shaped plots and characters and provided a stage for the action.
 
Casson Mann created a sequence of stylised rooms, representing different stages in Fleming’s life. The exhibition included Fleming's desk and chair from his Jamaican home, Goldeneye, where he wrote all of the Bond novels, as well as props and gadgets from many of the Bond films, such as Rosa Klebb's flick-knife shoes and a working model of the famous Aston Martin DB5. 

Client
Imperial War Museum

Opened
17th April 2008 to 1st March 2009

Exhibition Space for Zaya
Cityscape, Dubai
2008
ProjectClientOpened
Project
At Cityscape, the Dubai Real Estate exhibition, everyone’s display needs to stand out, get noticed, shout loud … The end result is often cacophony. Asked to create a display space for Zaya LLP, our response was to establish strength in simplicity.
 
We started with the venue massing rules and then created the largest single form permissible, a 10 × 10 × 6m high block. A stark object, a simple deep brown box, this sat like an island of calm in a clamouring sea.  Not a solid form, the structure was lifted off the floor. Its seemingly monolithic appearance peeled back in places to reveal an enticing glow of colour.

Client
Zaya LLC

Opened
6th – 9th October 2008

Atmosphere: Exploring Climate Science
Science Museum, London
2010
ProjectClientAwardsRelated websiteRelated News [5]
Project
Frozen ice cores, stalagmites, tree rings, radiometers and weather balloons are just some of the exhibits displayed in the Atmosphere gallery. Our brief was to present the science of climate change clearly and engagingly, connecting visitors to the otherwise invisible atmosphere above us.
 
Interspersed with museum objects, the gallery contains 20 interactive software exhibits set out in five, clearly marked zones. The gallery has representations of oceans and land, and, above visitors’ heads, the atmosphere appears as a delicate fabric installation, patterned with isobars, rippling across the ceiling.  Projections cover the floor and the raised display surfaces to create a dynamic and ever-changing surface, responding to visitor activity.

Client
Science Museum

Awards
2012 Lighting Design Award 2012
2011 MUSE award for Interpretive Interactive Installations Honorable Mention

Related website

Related News [5]

First World War Galleries
Imperial War Museum, London
July 2014
Visitor ExperienceProjectClientWebsiteAwardsRelated News [11]
Visitor Experience
“I am going to ... advise every friend of mine who visits London to come here and look at this .”  
Vox pop, new visitor

Project
The galleries opened in July 2014 as part of the national commemorations of the First World War. They have since attracted record numbers of visitors, many commenting on their emotional power.
 
Visitors hear the story of WWI through the voices of those who were actually there. From the soldiers in the trenches, to those serving on the Home Front, from the women left behind, even from soldiers on the enemy line: all the quotes are contemporary.  More than 1,600 large and small objects are on display, interwoven with digital elements which enhance, engage  - and occasionally disturb.  Materials, light, sound and projection all contribute to a visceral and moving experience.
  
“The displays were pretty much as good as it gets … you’ve got sound and you’ve got moving images and you’ve got moving objects, and it is all ... cleverly intertwined.”  
Vox pop, past visitor

Client
Imperial War Museum

Website

Awards
2015 Design Week Awards for Best Exhibition Design
2015 M&H Awards for Best Permanent Exhibition

Related News [11]

MAST
Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Tecnologia, Bologna, Italy
2013
ProjectClientWebsite
Project
Casson Mann worked alongside Coesia, a large manufacturer of packaging machinery in Bologna, for 18 months to help them devise a public exhibit designed to attract young people into the world of engineering. We created a masterplan for a section of the new multi-functional building adjacent to their factory. We designed a gallery for a steep-sloping space in the building to exhibit their world-class collection of industrial photography, and, with Why Not Associates,  a series of installations each of which explored different aspects of packaging, through a series of interactive challenges and games.

Client
Coesia Group

Website

Crimes Against Humanity
Imperial War Museum, London
2002
ProjectClientAwards
Project
The gallery centres on a specially commissioned thirty minute film, with a small interactive area for those interested in deeper research. The film, shocking and harrowing in parts, required a design approach that spoke softly and trod carefully – we wanted to provide a space that seemed neutral and without distraction. Any choice the visitor makes about where and how to watch the films or research on the databases (alone, in a group, from the sidelines) is deliberately public, and open to observation. We felt that it was important to move the auditorium space away from associations with the comfort and anonymity of the cinema.

Client
Imperial War Museum

Awards
2003 D&AD Silver Nomination for the most outstanding Exhibition Design

Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon
Shildon, Co Durham
2004
ProjectClientWebsite
Project
Casson Mann created displays, way-finding and a coherent visitor experience for Locomotion, a new outpost of the National Railway Museum York at Shildon in County Durham.  The museum marks the site where the first passenger train started its journey in 1825, and where Shildon, the first railway town developed.  It brings together the historic buildings and workshops of the former Timothy Hackworth Museum with a new building housing sixty vehicles from the National Collection, including Timothy Hackworth’s Sans Pareil engine from 1829.  

Client
National Railway Museum at York

Website

Time Galleries
Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London
2007
ProjectClientAwardsWebsite
Project
Three galleries dedicated to the story of timekeeping: ‘Time and Longitude’ tells the story of John Harrison and the race to solve the world’s greatest navigational problem. A large interactive table brings to life the chapters of Harrison’s life through the objects on his desk.
 
‘Time and Greenwich’ includes treasures from the collection such as the 1852 Shepherd master clock which became the first world time distribution device and the clock which signalled the first ‘BBC six pips’ in 1924.
 
‘Time for the Navy’ includes a display of more than 100 marine chronometers and visitors can watch the Royal Observatory’s horologists at work, repairing and maintaining the collection.

Client
Royal Museums Greenwich

Awards
2005 Society for the History of Technology Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits

Website

Casson Mann Studio
Mitchell Street, London
2008
ProjectClient
Project
Attracted by the tall windows and natural light, Casson Mann moved to new premises in Mitchell Street, converting an old factory building into work space. We made new openings between what had previously been two separate flats, creating an office in two halves: an open-plan front-of-house for ‘play’; and a quiet studio space for ‘work’.

The bookcase we designed has become one of our most distinguishing features, inspiring conversation with everyone who visits. This huge, wood display wall grew out of a fascination with the branches of the Banyan tree. Our London version is filled with books, models, assemblages of found objects and treasures, changing year on year. 

Client
Casson Mann

Atrium Galleries
Imperial War Museum
July 2014
ProjectClientWebsite
Project
As part of IWM London’s refurbishment, Casson Mann created new, dramatic displays in the museum’s Atrium, designed by Fosters + Partners.  Nine iconic objects, including a Harrier jet and Spitfire suspended from above, a V2 rocket, a T34 tank and a damaged Reuters Land Rover were presented in the new Atrium itself. 
 
As visitors move up through the transformed space, terraces (created by large architectural fins that line the Atrium) lead to chronologically organized galleries.  On each level, Casson Mann created dramatic installations or ‘display clusters’ that tell key stories.  Large and small objects are interwoven with media and bold graphic displays that take visitors from WWII, to Northern Ireland, the Falklands, and Afghanistan. 

Client
Imperial War Museum

Website
http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london


Images credited to
Casson Mann and  Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War
Somerset House, London
Autumn 2013
ProjectClientOpenedWebsiteRelated News [1]
Project
This temporary exhibition at Somerset House presented Stanley Spencer’s extraordinary cycle of First World War paintings created for the Sandham Memorial Chapel.
 
Spencer had strong ideas about how he wanted the paintings to be presented, fusing art with architecture. Our display therefore recreated, as far as possible, the spatial arrangement in the chapel. We created a second wall so that the paintings could ‘speak’ to each other – as intended - and recreated the huge altarpiece, Resurrection of the Soldiers, that could not travel, as a projection filling the end wall.
 
The gallery lighting, and a story unfolding through a series of three galleries, enabled visitors to see and enjoy the paintings as never before. 

Client
Somerset House

Opened
7 November 2013 - 26 January 2014

Website

Related News [1]

IWW in NYT
Edward Rothstein reviews the IWM's First World War Galleries...
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First World War Galleries
Edward Rothstein reviews the IWM’s First World War Galleries in the International New York Times 

He writes:

[…] these new galleries are worth paying attention to, not only for what they say about World War I, but also for what they say about contemporary approaches to history. […]

The exhibition’s designer, the firm of Casson Mann, has stated that here “visitors will see the war through the eyes of the people who experienced it” and that the galleries will “ground the visitor in the present tense.” Sound effects, video, touch screens, interactive games — the goal is really to create a Museum of Experience, like so many museums being built these days (including the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York). If history creates disagreement or conflict or controversy, then one approach is to emphasize experiences rather than interpretations; there is no argument in experience.

Here, for example, display areas are surrounded by cement-colored platforms inscribed with phrases from the diaries or letters in the museum’s collection. A game for young visitors — played by touching images on a light table — asks them to mimic the repetitive motions of factory workers turning out shoes or cutting timber for military use. The home front, as in many war exhibitions, ends up becoming as crucial as the battle front.

And, as it turns out, World War I is almost impossible to appreciate without examining experience. As a recent exhibition at the University of Texas at Austin suggested, we have come to understand this war through its portrayal in poetry, drama and the visual arts. This is one reason, too, to pay attention to an art show at the Imperial War Museum, running through March 8 — “Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War” — in which painters like C. R. W. Nevinson and Paul Nash strain to convey their experiences at the front. For World War I, experience has played a dominant role in interpretation. 

Read the full review in the digital edition on nyt.com
 

Engaging and Provoking
Telegraph's Mark Hudson describes the Imperial War Museum's new Galleries...
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First World War Galleries
‘new, provocative and improved’ is how The Telegraph‘s Mark Hudson describes the Imperial War Museum’s new Galleries.

In an article that reveals how IWM’s new galleries integrate art with objects, the new Atrium displays are described as ‘bringing together clusters of exhibits – works of art, objects, photographs, oral history, photographs – that “talk to each other”, engaging and provoking the viewer’.

In working closely with IWM’s curators and historians in selecting the various objects, artefacts, mementos, images and art, that are all part of the First World War Galleries, World War Two and Post-1945 Conflicts, we  sought to create themes, displays and clusters that would provoke thought and reflection about the wider issues, implications and human impact of conflict.

Principle Historian Nigel Steel explains it eloquently in the article: “We’re trying to look beyond the operational view of war, which is all about battles and strategies. We’re looking at the impact war has had on people’s lives, the social change and political fall-out. We want to challenge and provoke people to ask questions about these things, and art is a good way to do that”

Read the full article here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/10957530/Imperial-War-Museum.html

Tank, Trench & Camel
Roger Mann reveals how they installed the Mark V tank in the new gallery space...
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First World War Galleries
As IWM London reveals how they installed the Mark V tank in the new gallery space, Roger Mann gives some background details about the why the iconic tank comes to rest as seen in the video below.
The Mark V tank was a permanent and always fascinating object at IWM London’s gallery, welcoming visitors to walk around its quiet hulking form.

As we began the task of reconsidering the First World War Gallery, it was given that the Mark V would be part of the story, as would many new large and small objects.
 
As exhibition designers, our job is to tell stories, to give objects a voice that helps them come alive as real and vital elements of a bigger story.

Our first concept was to restore the Mark V to a more dramatic, even authentic, role in the Gallery, evocative of the classic image of a rampant tank churning through no mans land – a menacing machine designed to climb over the most daunting terrain. To convey this effectively, we envisaged it above a new Trench experience, with a Sopwith Camel high above.The Trench experience in IWM London’s new First World War Gallery.

These three objects, tank, trench and camel form a natural dynamic – visually as well as experientially. Soldiers in the trenches, looking up at the sky through a narrow slit would really have seen and heard these planes flying above them, just as they would at times, experience the dread of tanks rumbling towards them.

Happily, the curators agreed with our concept. We then began the task of ensuring that the Mark V could be positioned at a steep angle without compromising its structural integrity. Working closely with a team including curators, structural engineer and conservationists, we found a way to combine these objects into one cohesive and dramatic experience that forms one of the focal points of the First World War Galleries.

'Triumph' says The Times
We’re delighted with Richard Morrison’s brilliant review...
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First World War Galleries
‘The IWM team, led by the curator James Taylor and the design company Casson Mann, have combined all these contemporary artefacts with the most sophisticated high-tech graphics, video and sound I have ever encountered in a museum.’ – Richard Morrison, The Times.

We’re delighted with Richard Morrison’s brilliant review of the IWM’s new First World War Galleries, published in The Times today.

While we can’t post or even link to the full article, we can recommend it as an excellent review of what the public will see on the 19th July, when doors open to the new galleries.

IWM London:
Opening Soon
The countdown begins...
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First World War Galleries
The countdown begins – Casson Mann’s new First World War gallery at London’s Imperial War Museum opens to the public on 19th July.

Closed since January, the landmark site will reopen with a new atrium by Fosters and Partners, and whole new galleries by Casson Mann.

Most anticipated is the new First World War gallery experience, which will see 2000 objects, large and small, displayed in themes that explore the impact, strategies and legacy of the Home and War Front efforts.The team, under Roger Mann, have also created the WWII gallery and post-1945 galleries.

As the countdown continues, follow the progress on Transforming IWM London blog  and we will also be revealing more details about our work.

Meanwhile, enjoy the beautiful ‘Flight of the Stories’ animation by Aardman.

Nelson and
HMS Victory
Casson Mann’s design for Nelson Navy Nation at the National Maritime...
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Nelson, Navy, Nation
Casson Mann’s design for Nelson Navy Nation at the National Maritime Museum references materials and dimensions from HMS Victory. This article provides fascinating details about the state of the art mapping technology used in ongoing restoration efforts and interviews the exhibition curator about the ship’s wider significance.

HMS Victory as you’ve never seen it before: The amazing 3D map of Nelson’s battleship created by lasers in a bid to help restore it | Mail Online.

Dinah Casson in
Guardian Culture
We light, frame and stage, says Dinah Casson...
‘We light, frame and stage, says Dinah Casson about the anarchic, sensorial and invisible world of exhibition design’

The Guardian’s Culture Professionals Network features Dinah’s thoughts on the pivotal if often overlooked role of exhibition design in A spotlight on the exhibition designer

“Like theatre design, exhibition design plays a supportive role that has the potential to elevate an experience from the ordinary to the extraordinary”.

Read the full piece below.

Two seconds of reflection after entering an exhibition should make it clear that someone has decided where things go – that each thing affects another; that colour, light, materiality and space are key components of any installation; that labels can affect the pleasure or irritation of a visit.

But few notice. These things are the responsibility of the exhibition designer and the lack of understanding and critical debate of this pivotal role continues to surprise me.

An invisible craft, its creative merit is often overlooked yet its power to bring objects and ideas to life is tangible. Remember what solemn and inaccessible places museums and galleries used to be? With help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, exhibition design has revolutionised public engagement in our art, history and cultural institutions, which are now encouraged to regard visitors as a source of income and ideas, rather than of sticky fingers, dust and requests for the WCs.
Our design process is guided by considerations for story, space and people. We gather up the objects and stories that the curators feel best explain the subject in hand. Standing as mediators between the specialist interests of the curator and the more general interests of the visitor, we begin the task of interpreting, editing, sorting and directing, asking difficult questions such as: why is this object so important; which objects need to talk to each other; what is the real story behind this?

Once the stories are clear, we then work on how best to tell them. The objective is to create a strong narrative that will enable the objects to speak, and compel visitors to listen. Curators, understandably, tend to believe their objects speak for themselves – and some do, but many don’t.

The epergne in the British Galleries at the V&A, for example, is no longer the centrepiece of the contemporary dining table ; and the double ended metal bar in Nelson Navy Nation looks like an old tool – not a lethal spinning weapon that ships lobbed at each other during sea battles. Such objects need to be given a voice. To create that voice, we juxtapose, we light, we frame, we stage – everything we can to engage the visitor, and contribute to understanding and personal reflection.

Like theatre design, exhibition design plays a supportive role that has the potential to elevate an experience from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Apart from the many technical complexities to resolve – light levels, conservation issues, circulation issues, fire issues, structural issues, technology issues – we seek solutions that surprise and enhance, and these are often spatial. The mirroring of the wall in the Nelson Navy Nation exhibition, for example, gives us the exact dimension of the deck of the HMS Victory, and the lighting baffles create a feeling of bright sky but within conservation standards.

The complexities of this work require a process with long development times, from a few months to several years: the Stanley Spencer gallery at Somerset House took seven months, but the British Galleries at the V&A took five years, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia seven.

Few visitors care about the details, and, when they arrive at a venue, they become anarchist. Unlike the more passive experiences of watching a film or play, or reading a book, exhibition audiences are on their feet and will go where they like, when they like. They are wonderfully unpredictable in what catches their attention and how long that can be sustained.

The skill of the designer is to plan and balance the experience – tempting the visitor with sensorial pleasure, encouraging thoughtful contemplation, developing a journey through the subject, piquing and rewarding curiosity. In Hollywood Costume, the intimacy of the conversations that visitors were invited to join were a strong contrast to the spatial explosion immediately afterwards.

Museum technology, however, is one thing that does provoke discussion. It is frequently associated with dumbing down and kid’s free-fall into mindless button pushing but, used appropriately, technology can enhance the subject, creating opportunities for deep and dynamic engagement, as demonstrated in the Churchill War Rooms.

It is also one of the tools that will help us create the next generation of museums and liberate visitors to connect with objects, art and ideas on their own terms.

V&A
Podcast
Gary Shelley talks exhibition design with the V&A's Glenn Adamson and Moira Gemmill...
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Hollywood Costume
Gary Shelley talks exhibition design with the V&A’s Glenn Adamson and Moira Gemmill, exploring Casson Mann’s approach to the hugely successful Hollywood Costume exhibition. Hailed as a ‘landmark exhibition’ it was a world first in theme, scale and ambition and a V&A first to feature a brave and dramatic new interpretive design approach.

Listen to the interview and read the transcript on V&A’s website: V&A Podcast – Exhibition Design

Praise for Frankin
Reviews for the new Benjamin Franklin Museum...
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Benjamin Franklin Museum
As Casson Mann’s latest project opens to the public the reviews agree that the new Benjamin Franklin Museum is a great success.

Here’s what they say:

The museum, which is blessedly compact, consists of five open-plan rooms, each focused on a different theme. The exhibits, by CassonMann, bring Franklin alive in a way the previous one never did. The exhibits have been updated with real content and now include a rich collection of original objects, from Franklin’s cereal bowl to his chess set and the ink balls he used in his printing house. – Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic.

Read full article here : Changing Skyline: An elegant redesign for Ben Franklin – and Venturi

The Benjamin Franklin Museum’s techno gadgets and virtual presentations bring visitors up to speed on one of Philadelphia’s most famous residents in a style that would wow Franklin himself. – By Diane W. Stoneback, Of The Morning Call. Read the full article here:  An electric place: Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia

Reopened in August, the museum now seeks to engage a new generation with touch-screen devices explaining Franklin’s many accomplishments. With my 8-year-old nephew in tow, we learned about Franklin’s role in starting the first fire company and lending library, his work as a newspaper publisher and printer, and his inventions, such as the lightning rod, bifocal glasses and the Franklin stove, while getting a sense of his impish humor. One display, for example, focuses on his 20 pen names, which included King of Prussia and Silence Dogood.

The exhibits’ interactive tools clicked with my screen-savvy nephew, who got a kick out of hearing “Huzzah!” every time he completed a learning task. – Robert DiGiacomo, The Washington Post, Travel.

Read full piece here: In Philadelphia, finding intriguing museums, restaurants and bars that hide in plain sight

Meet The Man
Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia opens to visitors, after two years of renovation...
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Benjamin Franklin Museum
Casson Mann‘s latest project, the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia opens to visitors.

After two years of renovation, the museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Benjamin Franklin reopens below historic Franklin Court in Philadelphia, U.S.A, and the underground venue now features a completely new exhibition experience by Casson Mann.

Although an iconic figure in the United States, the Benjamin Franklin Museum is the only venue in the U.S. that is dedicated to a biographical exploration of Franklin. This is the first time that the underground museum has been reconsidered since created by the National Park Service in 1976.

With a remit to teach visitors about the legacy of one of the great men of the 18thCentury, Casson Mann was commissioned to work closely with consultant curators Remer&Talbott to create a completely new interpretive and interactive exhibition experience that will inform, engage and inspire the next generation of visitors, in particular the school groups that visit in large numbers from neighbouring states.
The exhibition has been structured into room sets that each explore an aspect of Benjamin Franklin’s character.

Franklin’s life is explored across five key themes that reveal his character and personality, interests and influences, creative and intellectual acumen. It also encourages visitors to discover for themselves the depth and breadth of his extraordinary contribution to the social, political and cultural legacy of Philadelphia and the country he helped shape and indeed represented in both the UK and France.

Casson Mann brings these themes to life by weaving together documentation, artefacts, audiovisuals and interactives against an richly suggestive environmental backdrop derived from the archaeological evidence of Franklin’s house that once stood on the Franklin Court site. This absent house was immortalized in the iconic ‘Ghost House’ structure by architects Robert Venturi and John Rauch with Denise Scott Brown, created as part of Independence National Historical Park’s 1976 project to mark the Bicentennial anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Says Dinah Casson “Creating this exhibition experience for the Benjamin Franklin Museum has been a tremendous privilege. Franklin was an extraordinary man – a forerunner of the modern international social and political entrepreneur. Our aim was to create an exhibition that conveys the depth and reach of the private as well as the public man. We hope visitors will share our sense of discovery”.

Franklin &
USA Today
USA Today gives Casson Mann's new Benjamin Franklin Museum a great review...
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Benjamin Franklin Museum
USA Today gives Casson Mann’s new Benjamin Franklin Museum a great review.

Jayne Clark writes –
“On display are some personal artifacts, but the dynamic exhibits, featuring computer-animated games and other interactive devices, “casts (his) contributions in a whole new light, not only providing … a greater understanding of who Franklin was, but also inspiring future generations to imagine a little of Ben’s passion and inventiveness in themselves,” said Michael Dahl of The Pew Charitable Trust, a partner in the venture”.

Read the full article here: Ben Franklin gets his own high-tech museum in Philly

Talent on Display
FX Magazine talk about exhibition design with Casson Mann...
FX Magazine talk about exhibition design with Casson Mann, Real Studios and GuM.

The following extracts give a sense of Casson Mann’s thoughts and approach on working with museums.

‘We went into museums because the people are interesting and they are extraordinarily creative. It’s an amazing field of work…very, very intense.’ – Dinah Casson.

‘Every aspect of an exhibition is communicating – every material, every media, every technology, contributing to a greater understanding of the story you’re telling,’ –  Roger Mann.

Read the full article ‘Talent on Display’ here

Museum of the Year Finalist
The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge has been shortlisted for the Art Fund...
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Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
We are delighted to announce that The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge has been shortlisted for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2013! As the UK‘s largest arts prize, it aims to highlight the many innovative ways museums and galleries across the UK bring objects and collections to life for the public.

Casson Mann were appointed to see the design for the Beaney Institute in Canterbury through to completion and the refurbished museum opened to the public  in September 2012.

Unusually for a museum, The Beaney Institute has had the opportunity to think about conceptual, intellectual and directional orientation across all museum, library and art gallery spaces; as a result the spaces all feel as if they are part of the same story. Today the Beaney is an exciting springboard into exploration, play, new ideas and creativity. Displays in all of the spaces gather objects together in order to make interesting points and provoke engaged responses, rather than to tell encyclopaedic historical or cultural stories. Throughout the museum, art gallery and library spaces, there are a series of Explorer Points, where activities take place. Text is minimal; where possible objects, activities, visual clues and multi-sensory experiences have been used in its place.
The Beaney is one of ten British museums to be shortlisted for the Prize. The judging panel visited the Museum on May 17th and you can listen to their comments here: Museum of the Year judges Tour The Beaney

The winner will be presented with £100,000 and crowned ‘Museum of the Year’ at an award ceremony in London in June.

Highly Commended Treasures
'Highly Commended' in the Permanent Exhibition category...
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Treasures
We’re thrilled that The Natural History Museum’s Treasures exhibition was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Permanent Exhibition category of the Museums and Heritage Awards 2013.

Designed by Casson Mann to showcase the Natural History Museum’s most significant objects and artifacts, the Treasures exhibition in the Cadogan Gallery opened in November 2012 to fantastic reviews, such as Sarah Crompton’s review in The Telegraph: every object tells story about the history of natural science

Have a look at a selection of the objects on display here at The Guardian‘s picture slide show.

About the design – Casson Mann has created a simple, dramatic, centrally placed display plinth that enables the carefully chosen specimens to be the focus of the room. Roger Mann, co-founder and director explains the concept:  “We felt that these remarkable objects, spanning 4.5 billion years of natural history, with their equally fantastic stories of discovery and relevance deserved to be marveled at, and this lead us to create a modern interpretation of the cabinet of curiosities”.

The objects, each with their own unique story, are displayed in individual cases to be discovered and appreciated alone – but held together by their significance and relationship to one another and the Museum in the strength of this single form.

This monolithic plinth, hewn out of black polished and textured granite, forms undulating blocks that support glass display cases of varying heights, each one showcasing objects as diverse as a dinosaur tooth, a meteorite, and an emperor penguin egg collected collected during Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to Antarctica.

Some of the objects, such as the first edition of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, are famous and instantly recognisable. Other items are less familiar and need their stories told with imagination and flair to both enthrall and reward visitors. As one incredible, surprising and important story after another is revealed visitors will begin to appreciate the tenacity with which humankind has attempted to explore, understand and celebrate the power and wonder of nature.

The stories behind each of the objects can be discovered through interactive digital labels alongside each case. Featuring the most engaging aspect of each story on the first screen visitors can move through 8-9 screens, each telling a different aspect of the specimen’s story. To lend warmth and animation to the gallery, LED lights wash the front of each label stand with a subtle colour ‘wash’ that changes to reflect the colour palette of each digital screen.  These moments of changing colour beautifully compliment the stained glass windows of the gallery.

Museum Director Dr Michael Dixon says, ‘The opening of Treasures represents an exciting future for the Natural History Museum. By inviting the world to explore the highlights of our world famous collection in this permanent gallery, many generations of visitors will capture their own unique insight into our natural world.’

ADC Design Award Winner
Hollywood Costume wins Bronze at Art Director's Club Design Awards...
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Hollywood Costume
Casson Mann’s Hollywood Costume wins Bronze at Art Director’s Club Design Awards

“We’re very proud that our exhibition design for Hollywood Costume has received such critical acclaim”, says Roger Mann “it was a unique challenge to get people to look beyond the glitter and glamour of the costumes themselves and appreciate the depth and complexity of the costume designers’ creative process, and being recognised by the ADC’s panel of judges gives us a great sense of achievement”.

Nelson, Navy, Nation
Latest exhibition design project is unveiled today at the National Maritime Museum in London...
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Nelson, Navy, Nation
Casson Mann’s latest exhibition design project is unveiled today at the National Maritime Museum in London.

Nelson, Navy, Nation: the story of the Royal Navy and the British people, 1688 – 1815, is a unique gallery; the first to offer a broader perspective of the role played by Admiral Nelson and the Royal Navy in shaping public perceptions of national and international identity – so deeply influential in shaping British social, cultural and political history.

Placing Nelson within the bigger context of the 18th century makes his story richer and more engaging” says Dinah Casson, “and we have designed this exhibition to help visitors empathise with how the threat and reality of war, the action of our Admirals and the rewards they produced, was felt by the British people”.

The 400 m2 exhibition space, situated on the second floor of the museum, takes visitors on an object-rich journey through dramatically different narrative environments that weave together the three thematic strands using lighting, sounds, displays and projections to stimulate the senses, encourage discovery and create connections between events on land, on sea and below deck.

Casson Mann’s immersive environments make sure that visito
rs feel part of the storytelling experience through “unexpectedly direct appeals to their natural sense of curiosity and delight in the unexpected”. No where is this more evident than at the first approach where the sounds and sights of the sea, the ship’s deck and the threat of cannon fire appear to burst into the gallery.

Equally engaging displays chart the lives and fortunes played out above and below deck, the action and legacy of mutiny and war, the extraordinary career, character and national glorification of Admiral Lord Nelson, and provide portals into an exciting period that continues to influence our contemporary world.

The increasingly dramatic spatial experiences culminate in the battle of Trafalgar and its aftermath. The variety of these experiences, the often surprising and personal stories they release and the frequent opportunities for the visitor to engage with and delve deeply into the rich history that underpins the collection and exhibition, create a unique destination gallery, rewarding the single visit but offering the returning visitor even more.

”In addition to revealing new things about Nelson and putting into context a hero of that magnitude“,adds Casson “we want visitors to leave the Gallery with a clear understanding that the story of the Navy is also the story of how the British people saw themselves and their place in the world – and still do, perhaps without realizing”.
 

HC Makes D&AD Shortlist
Casson Mann's design for Hollywood Costume has been nominated...
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Hollywood Costume
Casson Mann’s design for Hollywood Costume has been nominated for a D&AD award! We couldn’t be more delighted that our exhibition design is numbered among the “most compelling, moving works of the past year – fingers crossed for a Pencil at the June awards event…

Luxury In Progress
We're excited to be featured in The LiP — Luxury In Progress...
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The Caves at Lascaux
We’re excited to be featured in The LiP – Luxury In Progress – the gorgeous online magazine showcasing fresh and innovative creative work.

Preserving the Past is an interview with Dinah Casson and Roger Mann about their inspiration for Lascaux IV: Centre for Parietal Art in Montignac, France – a uniquely innovative experience that will recreate one of the world’s most extraordinary cultural treasures.

Lascaux IV in dezeen
We're thrilled that dezeen picked up on our news...
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The Caves at Lascaux
We’re thrilled that dezeen picked up on our news about CM’s team winning the Lascaux project.

For those who want to read their coverage, we want to share that with you here – Lascaux IV: Cave painting centre by Snøhetta, Duncan Lewis and Casson Mann

Architect's Journal
We can't be more delighted...
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The Caves at Lascaux
We can’t be more delighted about the piece that Architect’s Journal wrote about how we recently won the Lascaux IV competition with a team that includes Norwegian architects Snohetta and Bordeaux based Duncan Lewis Scape Architecture.

We’d like to share it with you here: Casson Mann team lands Lascaux jackpot

Squint/Opera & HC
Casson Mann asked Squint/Opera to be our media partners...
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Hollywood Costume
Casson Mann asked Squint/Opera to be our media partners on the Hollywood Costume exhibition and  we’re delighted to be able to share their video about the brilliant work they produced under our creative direction.The resulting media installations and projections help to add drama, depth and context to the themes explored in the exhibition around the costume design process.

Roger Mann – “The challenge as museum and exhibition designers is how do we engage and re-engage visitors in the story of costume design, how do we bring the costumes to life and how do we convert cinema, an emotive experience into a spatial experience. Media was key to our concept from the start as a way to add the drama, magic and playfulness that would make learning about the costume design process an entertaining and informative experience. We feel the result, some of which you can see in Squint/Opera’s video, achieves all of that”.

Watch the video here.

The Show Must Go On
Hollywood Costume, the V&A's spectacular blockbuster...
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Hollywood Costume
Hollywood Costume, the V&A’s spectacular blockbuster exhibition designed by our team here at Casson Mann, has now closed in London.

For those who want to see the original show, we’re busy setting up an online archive that will be populated with images from the three galleries along with comments and anecdotes from the design team.
So head over to the Hollywood Costume page and get the first glimpses of what’s to come…

Q&A in M&H
Casson Mann talk to Museums & Heritage
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Hollywood Costume
As the V&A’s blockbuster show nears the end of its run in London, Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Roger Mann and Gary Shelley talk to Museums & Heritage ADVISOR about the making of Hollywood Costume.

Read the candid Q&A and get an insight into how it all came together in Privileged Access – the story of Hollywood Costume

...and ACTION!
The V&A have created this film showing the backstory of the Hollywood Costume exhibition...
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Hollywood Costume
The V&A have created this film showing the backstory of the Hollywood Costume exhibition. Interviews with curators and costume designers give an insight into the collaborative process of character creation, the story that the exhibition aims to tell and how the costumes and assets were sourced.

Gary Shelley and Roger Mann talk about Casson Mann’s role:
GS – “As a film fan you’ll be incredibly passionate about the subject but as an exhibition designer you have to be passionate about what the public are going to see and also the process of exhibition design, the space it’s going in, the resources given to us, the time we have to build it – all those sorts of practical aspects but still somehow do the subject justice”.

RM – “What we do is tell stories, as exhibition designers that’s our job. We deal with any number of different types of collections of objects, each which have stories. And of course film costumes are heavily connected to stories.

But this is no ordinary exhibition. And because these costumes are not decorative objects, and made to be seen on screen, we have to be that much more playful, that much more magical with them, much more engaging, we have to help them come alive. So we use media and film and music and lighting and drama to bring out a fuller range of emotions such as you get when you go to see a movie. 

And we’ve really pushed ourselves on how to look at story telling methods that animate objects, and make motion pictures work in a spatial environment and bring it all together in a way that that the visitor to this exhibition is going to understand and that does Deborah’s vision justice”.

Starring Role in SCMP
Hollywood Costume is in the news again as it takes centre stage in South China...
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Hollywood Costume
Casson Mann‘s exhibition design for Hollywood Costume is in the news again as it takes centre stage in the South China Morning Post.

Francesca Fearon describes Casson Mann’s  show and how the creative design brings the costumes to life. Here’s a short extract: 

In the second gallery, the dialogue between director and costume designer is highlighted with a series of four video discussions. You feel as though you are eavesdropping on a backstage conversation between Martin Scorsese (on one screen) and Sandy Powell (on another opposite) discussing Leonardo DiCaprio’s outfit in Gangs of New York, or Tippi Hedren and archive footage of Edith Head discussing Alfred Hitchcock’s choice of the green woollen suit for Hedren in The Birds.

Projection tables illustrate the costumes they are discussing: these tables are not new in terms of exhibition layout, according to Mann, but ones with solid 3-D objects on them are, and so make the conversations look magically realistic.

Read the full article here. Hollywood costumes play starring role in exhibition

Treasures in Pictures
For a closer look at the Treasures on show...
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Treasures
For a closer look at the Treasures on show in Casson Mann’s new permanent exhibition at the Natural History Museum, have a look at the Guardian’s coverage:

Natural History Museum’s Treasures exhibition – in pictures
Natural History Museum to house unique treasure trove


"A new permanent exhibition that spans 7.5bn years and contains some of the most valuable objects in Britain, from Charles Darwin's pigeons and the dodo to the world's most expensive book and the UK's only piece of moon rock, will open at the Natural History Museum's Cadogan gallery on 30 November. Treasures features 22 exhibits from the museum's collection of more than 70m specimens."
Guardian website, November 2012

National Treasures
Treasures gallery at the Natural History Museum to be opened by the Duchess of Cambridge...
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Treasures
Casson Mann‘s stunning new permanent Treasures gallery at the Natural History Museum in London will be opened tonight, 27th November, by the Duchess of Cambridge.

The new Treasures collection in the Cadogan Gallery, at the top of the grand North stairs, will showcase 22 special exhibits chosen from 70 million specimens and artefacts in our collections. Each has a fascinating story to tell and was selected by our scientists to represent the Museum’s scientific, aesthetic, historical, social and cultural worth.

Treasures opens to the public on 30 November. More details to follow!

Lascaux Legacy
Appointed to create the new visitor experience for Lascaux...
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The Caves at Lascaux
Casson Mann are delighted to announce that our team has been appointed to create the new visitor experience for Lascaux IV: International Centre for Cave Art in Dordogne, France.

The biggest investment in the famous Lascaux cave complex to date the project, which includes Norwegian architect firm Snohetta and Duncan Lewis - Scape Architecture, will ensure that this world heritage site with its extraordinary Paleolithic art continues to be an inspirational legacy.

Casson Mann’s winning concept will see the creation of an immersive journey that lets visitors explore, interact, learn and share their experiences and thoughts about the extraordinary art within Lascaux.

Lascaux IV is due to open in 2015 and represents Casson Mann’s second current project in France, along with the Wine Culture and Tourism Centre in Bordeaux.

Hidden in Plain Sight
The V&A have organised a conference...
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Hollywood Costume
For those who want to get under the skin of the Hollywood Costume exhibition, the V&A have organised a conference that explores the unique design of the exhibition. Speakers include Deborah Nadoolman Landis and Roger Mann,co-founder and creative director of Casson Mann.

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Art of Hollywood Costume is on Friday 9 November 2012, 10.00-17.15 at the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre

For more details and to book a ticket, follow this link to the V&A’s website.

Round Up
Hollywood Costume at the V&A is being celebrated far and wide...
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Hollywood Costume
Hollywood Costume at the V&A is being celebrated far and wide and exhibition designers Casson Mann couldn’t be more delighted that their experiential design is being met with such praise. Here’s a round up of some of the coverage so far.
Waldermar Januszczak
The Arbuturian
Joëlle Magazine 
artribune.com (in Italian)
London Review of Books
Brighton Fashion Week.com
BBC
Design Week
China Daily
The Independent
Metro
Reuters
The Upcoming
Yahoo news
The Graphic Design Project

Saturday Review
Commended on Radio 4's weekly review of cultural highlights...
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Hollywood Costume
On Radio 4’s weekly review of cultural highlights, presenter Tom Sutcliffe and guests commend Casson Mann‘s exhibition design for Hollywood Costume saying ‘brilliantly laid out and designed, as a piece on how to layout an exhibition this is amazing….the faces are beautifully done…more real and more actual than if the actors had actually been there’…

Listen to the full review here with Tom Sutcliffe, broadcaster John Tusa, anthropologist Kit Davies and playwright Laura Wade – the review of Hollywood Costume begins 35min.12sec into the show.
Saturday Review 20/10/2012

A Closer Look
Casson Mann's original exhibition design and choreography met with overwhelming delight...
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Hollywood Costume
Casson Mann’s original exhibition design and choreography met with overwhelming delight by those who attended the Hollywood Costume press view yesterday at the V&A.

The Washington Post‘s coverage gives a real sense of the stunning show. View the image gallery A closer look at ‘Hollywood Costume’

The Back Story
Exploring and creating exciting ways to engage and re-engage visitors in the story of costume design...
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Hollywood Costume
In exploring and creating exciting ways to engage and re-engage visitors in the story of costume design, we always tried to live up to Deborah’s brief to create an exhibition that’s experiential, exciting and engaging for the general audience, that recreates a cinematic experience at the galleries in the V&A.” says Roger Mann, Casson Mann‘s co-founder and creative director.

As the show comes together and exclusive previews promise the public the once-in-a-lifetime experience Deborah Nadoolman Landis hoped for, Casson Mann’s co-founder and creative director Roger Mann and design associate Gary Shelley feel confident that their ‘back stage’ design approach – complete with exclusive content and interviews – will surprise, delight, inform and deliver a sense of ‘privileged access’.

Faces in Motion
Hollywood Costume at the V&A is all about the development of character...
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Hollywood Costume
Hollywood Costume at the V&A is all about the development of character and Casson Mann‘s team found a creative way to bring the costumes to life.

As the image of guest curator Deborah Nadoolman Landis with a selection of costumes, as featured in the London Evening Standard Capital Live shows, the exhibition design uses media to relate character to costume.

Co-founder and creative director Roger Mann explains the process:
“Costumes without the actor or actress in them are a bit like empty shells – they don’t necessarily trigger recognition as easily as one would think. Also, while some of the gowns are stunning, other costumes are very much working garments, never intended to be seen up close outside of the cinematic context. And many of them are certainly not decorative arts objects that can be appreciated for their own aesthetic qualities. So we had to be that much more playful, that much more magical with them, much more engaging – we have had to help them come alive. 
As we began to investigate ways to re-animate these costumes, we realised that we needed to choreograph them into recognisable poses. So we spent days in the studio finding the best pose to convey character and context for each individual costume. But sometimes even that wasn’t enough – we needed faces”.
We worked hard to see if we could get the faces of the characters into these costumes” continues Gary Shelley, design associate at Casson Mann.  “We wanted to avoid static plasticine likenesses which never really give an emotional connection, so the challenge was how we got a serious likeness that did justice to the movie and to the acting. And we think we cracked it.  
Each one of these characters has a tiny little screen and a projector as head, and each face is a tiny little movie showing the motivation of the character. So, people will be surrounded by faces in motion that are instantly recognisable, emotionally engaging and true to character“.

Film, not
Fashion
The Guardian's fashion editor Jess Cartnerâ-Morley's insightful review of Hollywood Costume...
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Hollywood Costume
The Guardian’s fashion editor Jess Cartner–Morley‘s insightful review of Hollywood Costume describes how the show and Casson Mann‘s exhibition design, including creative curation, media and choreography, affirms Deborah Nadoolman Landis‘ assertion that this exhibition is “about film, not fashion” and tells the story of how  costume design and the creative process creates authentic characters.

Read an extract of the article below or link to the full article Hollywood drama takes starring role at V&A

[…] When complete, the exhibition – like the films it celebrates – will take visitors on a journey, accompanied by music from composer Julian Scott, who has written a score for the exhibition “as if it were a film”, says Landis.
Film clips, animated interviews, moving moodboards and key moments from screenplays are used to tease out the different elements of the costume design process. An unremarkable-looking outfit worn by Matt Damon as Jason Bourne is displayed next to a montage of clips which demonstrate how Bourne’s grey-brown colour palette forces the viewer to work hard to spot the protagonist in crowd scenes. The nondescript appearance of his clothes is used to engage the audience in keeping up with the narrative.
A digital moodboard in front of the Ocean’s Eleven costumes walks the viewer through the thought processes by which designer Jeffrey Kurland figured out the puzzle of how to dress a cast of male characters that both enhanced their individual characterisation and made a coherent visual message when together.
Actors Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro are brought to life in an animated “conversation” about their costumes, in which Streep reveals that while filming The Iron Lady she insisted on having in her handbag the contents she felt Thatcher would have had.
The subtleties and contradictions of period costume are also explored. A lineup of on-screen Queen Elizabeths, including the dresses worn by Bette Davis, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, exposes how each film reimagines the Virgin Queen even while espousing historical accuracy.
The famous green gown worn by Keira Knightley as Cecilia Tallis in Atonement, a film set in 1935, is displayed alongside a sequinned gold dress worn by Carole Lombard in the 1936 classic My Man Godfrey, showing how costume designer Jacqueline Durran updated the glamour of that decade to enhance it in the eyes of a contemporary audience. Instead of traditional beading, Durran uses contemporary laser-cutting to decorate the bodice of her gown.
The grand finale of the exhibition is a blockbusting lineup of cinematic legends, to which every major Hollywood studio and private collector has contributed a loan.
This “embarrassment of riches”, as Landis calls it, is organised not by decade or gender but by the cinematic system of heroes and villains. So Javier Bardem’s chilling character from No Country for Old Men is next to Dracula, while James Bond and Hans Solo are alongside Harry Potter.
At the heart of this show is a passionate belief in the humanity of film-making. Harrison Ford once said that “the role of an actor is to serve as a mirror. My job is not to show you that the character and I have something in common. My job is to show you that you and the character – even one who may seem a little crazy – have something in common.”
The crucial role of the costume designer in this process is the theme of a very absorbing exhibition. “Costume design is about soul, not surface. We wanted to have lots to look at, and even more think about,” says Landis. “I think there’s plenty to chew on.”

In The Guardian
Hollywood Costume gets a fantastic in-depth review from The Guardian...
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Hollywood Costume
Hollywood Costume, with exhibition design by Casson Mann, gets a fantastic in-depth review from Bee Wilson at The Guardian.

Read it here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film

At the V&A
Casson Mann creates a compelling 'behind the scenes' experience...
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Hollywood Costume
Hollywood Costume: Casson Mann creates a compelling ‘behind the scenes’ experience at the V&A’s new autumn blockbuster exhibition
Five years in development, Hollywood Costume is the culmination of costume designer, professor, author and senior guest curator Deborah Nadoolman Landis’ passion for her craft and Casson Mann’s innovative exhibition design lets visitors explore the central role of costume design in cinema storytelling.

“This is no ordinary exhibition.” explains Roger Mann, co-founder and creative director of Casson Mann, “The costumes were never designed to be seen outside of the film they were created for and as working garments we have to be that much more playful, that much more magical with them, much more engaging – to help them come alive.” In realising the brief, Casson Mann uses media, film, music and lighting to great dramatic effect “to bring out a fuller range of emotions such as you get when you go to see a movie.”

In addition, the practicalities of an exhibition of this scale that after the V&A will tour across the world presented a unique set of challenges for Casson Mann’s team. Observing critical details such as high numbers of anticipated visitor footfall, dwell time per display and smooth throughput from beginning to end, along with a clear vision of the exhibition experience and a wealth of costumes, accessories, research assets and material that informs each character, have added layers of complexity that the team have resolved through seamless integration of innovative exhibition design, engaging story telling techniques and creative use of media.
“Our design has sought to deliver a memorable ‘behind the scenes’ film experience”, says Gary Shelley, associate designer at Casson Mann “Matt black stage environments, studio lighting, music and animations all lend a sense of drama and focus to the wealth of exquisite details about the realisation of each iconic screen character.“

The exhibition narrative has been carefully structured to reflect the costume design process throughout the three galleries. The visitor journey begins with Act One: Deconstruction in which they are introduced to the role of costume designer, continues to Act Two: Dialogue in which they discover the collaborations between directors, costume designers and actors and ends in Act Three: The Finale, with a “massive celebration” of the best known characters of Hollywood film history.

Under Roger Mann’s creative direction and Gary Shelley’s design direction, all exhibition content – from costumes and accessories to movie artefacts, designs and sketches, photographs, annotated script pages, archival film footage and specially commissioned interviews – has been edited, storyboarded, choreographed, animated and exhibited with single-minded commitment to Landis and the V&A’s exhibition vision and a passion for the public experience.

As the exhibition takes shape, it promises to deliver a ‘once–in-a-lifetime’ experience, bringing together for the first time iconic costumes and memorable characters – from Dorothy and Scarlett O’Hara to Indiana Jones, Jack Sparrow and Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher – and plenty of surprises that will inform, excite and inspire.

Hollywood Costume runs from 20 October 2012 – 27 January 2013 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. For further information and tickets, visit http://www.vam.ac.uk/hollywoodcostume
For further information about Casson Mann, contact Helena Corvin-Swahn on +44 (0)7815 060610 or at helena@dishlimited.co.uk

BBC Preview
Watch the BBC's preview coverage of the Hollywood Costume exhibition...
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Hollywood Costume
Watch the BBC’s preview coverage of the Hollywood Costume exhibition – designed by Casson Mann it promises to deliver a unique experience.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19921497

The Beaney
The Beaney Insitute: an exciting springboard into exploration...
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Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
The Beaney Insitute: an exciting springboard into exploration, play, new ideas and creativity, with exhibition design by Casson Mann.

After a major restoration and redevelopment project in which Casson Mann was appointed to see the design though to completion, The Beaney Institute in Canterbury opens its doors to the public.
Unusually for a museum, the Beaney Institute had the opportunity to think about conceptual, intellectual and directional orientation across all museum, library and art gallery spaces; as a result the spaces all feel as if they are part of the same story.

Throughout the museum, art gallery and library spaces, there are a series of Explorer Points, where activities take place. The Text is minimal; where possible objects, activities, visual clues and multi-sensory experiences have been used in its place. Displays in all of the spaces gather objects together in order to make interesting points and provoke engaged responses, rather than to tell encyclopaedic historical or cultural stories.

Read more about The Beaney’s redevelopment here

Hintze Hall
Natural History Museum
Opening 2017
ProjectClientWebsiteRelated News [3]
Project
Hintze Hall is the gateway to the Natural History Museum, for years dominated by well-loved exhibits such as ‘Dippy’ the diplodocus. Casson Mann’s challenge has been to find a new vision, one which celebrates the scientific legacy and unique architecture of the Natural History Museum, and takes it into the new century. 
 
Our new displays inspire wonder and curiosity, while working in concert with the proportion and scale of the stunning Romanesque building. Most radically, there is a new emphasis on authentic objects. The diplodocus cast is replaced with a spectacular, blue whale skeleton, suspended centrally in the Hall. This is the new focal point as visitors enter through the main doors. 

Client
Natural History Museum

Website

Related News [3]

Shortlisted for the M&H Awards
for the First World War Galleries, Permanent Exhibition
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First World War Galleries
Casson Mann have been shortlisted for the Museum and Heritage Awards for the First World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum.

The awards ceremony will take place in May 2015.

Team Selfie for the M&H Awards - we were shortlisted for the FWW Galleries @I_W_M #CelebratorySelfie #MandHAwards

Engineer Your Future
Science Museum,
December 2014
ProjectClientWebsiteRelated News [1]
Project
A fun, interactive, gaming-style gallery designed particularly for teenagers, Engineer Your Future aims to change perceptions of engineering. The exhibition includes four big multi-user games and a film. Casson Mann acted as creative consultant on the original media, but our challenge was to create a spatial environment which would unify the exhibition elements, bringing style and cohesion to the gallery.  With limited time and budget, we made use of the existing ceiling canopy and, inspired by the beauty and creativity of engineered paper, developed a language for the plinths and setworks where shapes are cut and folded, according to simple rules. The result is clever, functional and beautiful - like the best engineering.  

Client
Science Museum

Website

Related News [1]

CM wins NHM
Casson Mann are proud and delighted to announce that we will be working with the Natural History Museum...
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Hintze Hall
Casson Mann are proud and delighted to announce that we will be working with the Natural History Museum in the transformation of Hintze Hall, aka Central Hall, with an infrastructure to take it through the next 25 years.

A passion for the building and respect for the Museum’s remit inspired a concept that celebrates its scientific legacy and unique architecture. “Our focus is to create a space that inspires wonder and curiosity and that works in concert with the proportion and scale and decorative rhythms of the building”, explains Roger Mann.

With a brief to introduce dramatic elements that create a dynamic tension between the Museum’s architecture, collection and scientific remit, Casson Mann’s scheme encompasses the redevelopment of Hintze (Central) Hall and Balconies. The Treasures Gallery, completed by Casson Mann in 2012, is related to this redevelopment project and the design language will tie all these spaces together into one coherent visual and intellectual whole.

The concept involves creating and choreographing new displays that maintain a dialogue with the stunning Romanesque architecture. Plinths and large scale vitrines will showcase objects from the Museum’s vast collection that represent the diversity of specimens in the natural world. Grouped according to narrative themes including Origins, Evolution and Biodiversity, and reflecting Waterhouse’s architectural division of the collection into extinct and extant, the aim is to encourage exploration, discovery and learning.

The emphasis on authentic objects sees the removal of the Diplodocus cast and the introduction of an adult blue whale skeleton spectacularly suspended centrally in the Hall, forming the focal point as visitors enter through the main doors.

The project encompasses all aspects of the visitor experience from engagement strategies to the fundamental infrastructure (including display cases, object plinths, seating, way-finding structures, information desks and services) and the re-presentation and interpretation of existing statues in the Hall, displays in the Wonder Bays and on the first and second floor Balconies, all presided over by the dramatically suspended blue whale above.

“It’s a huge privilege to be tasked with the Hintze Hall redevelopment.” says 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”.

With 5 million visitors per year the Natural History Museum is one of London’s most iconic attractions and Hintze Hall is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016.

 

WW1 Touring Exhibition Opens
Having designed the critically acclaimed First World War Gallery...
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WW1 Centenary Exhibition
Having designed the critically acclaimed First World War Gallery at London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM), Casson Mann was commissioned by iEC EXHIBITIONS, to create The WW1 Centenary Exhibition.

This compelling touring experience opens at Melbourne Museum on 18th April in readiness for the imminent Gallipoli Centenary on the 25th of April 2015 and forms a major part of IWM’s global commemoration for the First World War.

Working closely with the IWM’s curatorial team and iEC’s exhibition team, Casson Mann’s challenge was to condense the incredibly complex object-rich story, as told in the new highly acclaimed permanent galleries at the museum, into a nimble yet engaging touring event.

Without the means to bring very large objects such as the Mark 5 Tank and Sopwith Camel that form key exhibits in the IWM’s gallery, Casson Mann’s team had to be inventive about how to embody the drama such large, powerful and iconic objects generate in a temporary exhibition.

Under founder and creative director Roger Mann’s leadership, the response was to create a twisting ‘trench’ at the core of the exhibition space that reveals dugout styled doorways to a series of themed collection displays on each side. As the main passage, the trench serves as an ideal metaphor, enabling Casson Mann to create a powerful, memorable and immersive experience that visitors constantly re-engage with on their journey.

This visually dramatic space is further enhanced with huge projections of the battlefield above the ‘Trench’ parapet, with attacking tanks crawling over the broken ground and soaring planes fighting in the sky. Enriched with a soundtrack that is synched to the narrative, a series of large freestanding screens create a fractured war landscape in which animated films immerse the visitor in the action.

The body of the exhibition is found behind eight doorways that lead from the Trench into distinct ‘Chapters’ that each tells a themed story through large and small object displays, works of art, personal artefacts, memorabilia, and projected films that bring voices and events to life. Designed to ensure a holistic understanding of the war without harsh chronology and detail study of each battle or episode, each of the 10 Chapters provides insight into key themes that characterised the nature of the conflict, including why it started and how it ended.

The animated approach to both Trench and Chapter projections provides the basis for a rich visual language that brings scale, movement and colour to a war that is largely perceived in black and white, and is powerful enough to engage with a younger audience whilst the style and authenticity, inspired by the plethora of contemporary recruitment and war bonds posters, and illustrated journals, will also appeal to older visitors.

In terms of design language and organisation, the show references Casson Mann’s   carefully considered First World War galleries at IWM London, in which plinth construction clarifies the division of War and Home fronts, evoking either landscape or furniture in the design of the exhibits. Sensitively integrated audiovisual elements help to set context, explain events, tell authentic personal stories and support a rich collection that includes 350 small objects, 8 large objects, 14 uniforms, 29 AV and over 40 pieces of art.

Exhibition Highlights: The Trench
The Trench Experience:
Designed to add dramatic effect to the visitor journey as the audience progress through exhibition, a series of projected films help to root the experience in time and place by carefully referencing authentic graphic styles of the era and involving the audience in the unfolding action from a soldier’s point of view.

The effect of seeing events unfold on these huge towering screens set just above their heads helps the visitor to see and hear the action from as realistic perspective as is possible to create in a temporary environment. The animated films include fixed views of a series of airplanes and tanks passing through the background intercut with more engaging action narratives (advances, artillery bombardments, dogfights, etc) that the visitor ‘joins’ in with.

As an example, Machine of War illustrates the power of these screens to capture attention and engage the senses and imagination. About the story of a British tank, ‘Fray Bentos’, stranded in No Man’s Land, the action shifts from a view of the tank in the distance, as seen from an allied trench, the claustrophobia of being stuck inside (almost life-size in scale on screen) to close quarters on the outside as German soldiers attempt to break in.

Screen dimensions: 4 metres x 2.2 metres
Trench projections images: Creative concept and direction: Casson Mann, media by iEC
Winner of M&H Award 2015
Best Permanent Exhibition for the First World War Galleries...
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First World War Galleries
Best Permanent Exhibition for the First World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum.

We’re delighted that our First World War Galleries won the gong for Best Permanent Exhibition at the 2015 Museum + Heritage Awards! 

A huge privilege, we want to thank IWM London and the judging panel, and congratulate our fellow nominees.

View the M&H Award Winners 2015 pictures in the Guardian.

Winner of Design Week Awards 2015
for the First World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum...
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First World War Galleries
Winner of the Design Week Awards 2015, under the Exhibition Design Category for the First World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum.

The judges said: "An imaginative and sensitive interpretation, which uses a mix of media to create an immersive narrative experience."

Design Week Awards 2015

The First World War Galleries are part of the first phase of the Transforming IWM London project, a long-term masterplan for the Imperial War Museum’s flagship museum.

Casson Mann’s layered, scenographic structure blends the display of large and small physical objects with digital media elements, projections, suggestive soundscapes and human voices telling their stories. This emphasis on authentic stories forms a key part of the narrative as contemporaneous voices ground the visitor in the present tense as events unfold.

Quotes, anecdotes and excerpts drawn from the IWM’s vast archive of personal letters, diaries, documents and orders are woven together with objects, artefacts and photographs to tell the story through personal experience and reflection.
 

Design Week Awards Hall of Fame
Dinah Casson is one of ten leading designers...
Dinah Casson is one of ten leading designers to be admitted to the Design Week Hall of Fame at this year’s Design Week Awards.

"The Hall of Fame aims to recognise individuals within design who have made a significant contribution to the industry, have provided inspiration and forward-thinking, or who have simply created consistently brilliant work.
We will aim to tell their stories, recognise their achievements and share their inspirational thinking."
Design Week

Best of British Design
Great Expectations showcased in the Design Council's 70 years celebration...
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Great Expectations
The Design Council celebrate 70 years with a showcase of their design highlights throughout the decades. 

Great Expectations exhibition showcased the best of British Design by the Design Council for 2001.

http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/

"Such was the interest in the products that had received Millenium Products status, in 2001 Design Council launched its 'Great Expectations' exhibition: a touring showcase that included many of them as well as new innovations.

Commissioned by Design Council and curated, designed and managed by Casson Mann, the installation consisted of a 54m banqueting table covered with 100 objects chosen to represent the very best in British design."
Design Council; our story

Al Gore tweets about Atmosphere Gallery
Fascinating, extremely well done, exhibit on the climate crisis and more...
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Atmosphere: Exploring Climate Science
Visited @sciencemuseum in London last wk. Fascinating, extremely well done, exhibit on the climate crisis and more.

https://twitter.com/algore/status/149249056391180288

Atmosphere Press Release
Frozen ice cores, stalagmites, tree rings, radiometers and weather balloons...
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Atmosphere: Exploring Climate Science
Frozen ice cores, stalagmites, tree rings, radiometers and weather balloons – exhibits displayed in Casson Mann’s latest exhibition at the Science Museum - all contribute to the overwhelming evidence of climate change - an emotive subject that has ignited passion, difference of opinion and confusion in a public who no longer know who to believe.

‘atmosphere: exploring climate science’, cuts through the contradictory claims and counter-claims that have masked the sober, scientific evidence. This supports an understanding of our climate, its complexity, interrelationships and sensitivity to changes affecting our daily lives. Our brief, from the Science Museum – a museum with a long-established history in scientific communication - was to set out the science of climate change clearly but engagingly. Our task was to grab visitors on an emotional level in a memorable, immersive experience which would connect them to the otherwise invisible atmosphere above us.

The gallery is first identified from the ground floor of the Wellcome Wing; visitors looking up into the atrium see a delicate fabric installation following the pattern of isobars, rippling across the ceiling of the second floor gallery, carrying an animated projection. This is the ‘atmosphere’: hovering above the exhibition, this layered fabric ether – with its thin wash of blue light – is infused with small, drifting white triangles that track the fluctuations of greenhouse gases being released by the game-playing taking place below.

The gallery floor is one single projected surface; a dynamic, ever-changing, pan-global world – a beautiful, but abstracted, representation of the Earth. The shifting relationships of this ‘one-world environment’ - portrayed as desert, vegetation, ice and oceans - are determined by the amount of greenhouse gases building up in the ‘atmosphere’ above. Within this projected environment sit low structures that appear to have been cut from the ‘world map’ and folded up out of the floor. Visitors are free to explore this gallery landscape: twenty interactive software exhibits, interspersed with museum objects, are set out in five clearly marked zones. These present the evidence, collected from a wide range of sources, that the climate is changing and that this is probably caused by human actions.

The intention was to create a physical landscape within which the bewildering quantity of apparently contradictory information can be unpicked and understood. The five zones enable visitors, at their own pace, to find out about how the climate works, changes already taking place and how that is measured, what possible changes we might see in the future, and the ways in which science and technology can be used to predict and respond to these changes. Visitors are also able to explore the dynamics of greenhouse gases, the beauty of the carbon cycle, and the choices confronting us which could, ultimately, determine the future of our planet.

The gallery is designed to explore the scientific basis for our current understanding of climate change rather than any social or economic story. Equipped with the facts, visitors can make their own interpretations, imagine our future choices, and, importantly, leave feeling optimistic rather than downhearted. To this end, the last zone collects together some of the more creative and optimistic ideas and products that might help to turn things around. The planet is of course tougher than we are, and we want to ensure that our visitors understand enough to be able to decide for themselves how things stand. Needless to say our hope is that they will be sufficiently touched by their visit to want to change their lives a little.

The space the gallery occupies is the middle level of the Wellcome Wing, once inhabited by ‘Digitopolis’ – the gallery about the digital world, opened in 2000 - that was also designed by Casson Mann.

A carefully selected team of collaborators was assembled for this important project – Nick Bell Design for the graphics, All of Us for the interactive software strategy, and dha design for lighting. 

British Galleries Press
Press coverage of the 'British Galleries' at the V&A, London...
View Project
British Galleries
The Observer's Deyan Sudjic:
"Britain 1500-1900 – the V&A’s new exhibition – provides a triumphant rebuke to those who complain about the tyranny of the object, and seek to turn museums into interactive video arcades. Two of the upper floors of the museum have been transformed in a deft, but unflashy way. You move from complete rooms salvaged from the demolition of houses in the 1920s, to densely packed groups of objects, to digressions on the nature of taste and design. Casson Mann’s quietly understated design elegantly tells a story of how Britain came to be what it is through a remarkable collection of objects – more than 3,000 of them.”
http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2001/nov/04/3

The Telegraph's Giles Worsley:
“The complexity of the task the curators and designers faced was daunting – to tell the story of British culture, style and taste through displays of historic furniture, textiles, dress, ceramics, jewellery, silver, prints, paintings and sculptures over a period of four centuries… At every stage the V&A’s curators, designers and advisors have asked themselves what information the visitor needs to appreciate the object on display.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4726673/The-great-British-variety-show.html

 

A Triumph of Curatorial Ingenuity
The Telegraph's Giles Worsley reviews our exhibition 'British Galleries' at the V&A...
View Project
British Galleries
“The complexity of the task the curators and designers faced was daunting – to tell the story of British culture, style and taste through displays of historic furniture, textiles, dress, ceramics, jewellery, silver, prints, paintings and sculptures over a period of four centuries… At every stage the V&A’s curators, designers and advisors have asked themselves what information the visitor needs to appreciate the object on display.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4726673/The-great-British-variety-show.html
 

La Cité du Vin in Bloomberg
Bordeaux’s $81 Million Cité Du Vin Aims to Be the Guggenheim of Wine...
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La Cité du Vin
Bordeaux’s $81 Million Cité Du Vin Aims to Be the Guggenheim of Wine.

Mark Ellwood interviews Roger Mann about Casson Mann's exhibition design for La Cité du Vin.

"A high tech museum devoted to global wine culture is aimed at attracting tourists—particularly millennials—to the historic wine region. The goal is to make visitors think of wine in a whole new way.

On June 1st, Bordeaux’s newest attraction will open on the banks of the river Garonne: the Cité du Vin, or City of Wine. The $81 million project is housed in a futuristic building said to be inspired by a snifter of Burgundy swilling around a glass, though it also evokes a cow horn used in biodynamic wine harvesting. This design, by Parisian architects X-tu, was chosen from a shortlist of five. “The four other could have been anything—an airport, a hotel—and we didn’t want a wonderful, empty box,” explains director Philippe Massol by cellphone from Bordeaux. Nicknamed the Guggenheim of Wine, the Cité du Vin isn’t aimed at buttressing the reputation of Bordeaux’s local vintages or even that of the region. Rather, it wants to position the city as the capital of winemaking across the world, the only place that brings an industry spanning around 80 countries together in one gleaming new site. It uses 20 different multimedia installations to do so, telling the story of wine in a distinctly French way. Here are some highlights – and don’t worry, there’s a bar or two on site, too.

The first exhibit is an exhilarating mashup of footage shot by a helicopter crew hovering above vineyards around the world; it’s an immersive experience shown across three giant screens. “We’ve been filming across five continents for the last year,” explains exhibition designer Roger Mann by telephone from his office in London, noting how exciting it is to see the contrast between the vast plain-like vineyards in Australia or California compared with the hilly steppes in France or even the strange curvy plantings found in French Polynesia."
Mark Ellwood, Bloomberg

Read the article here.

 

The Guardian recommends Bordeaux
Where to go on holiday in 2016? ...
View Project
La Cité du Vin
Every new year brings a host of reasons to choose a destination. We pick new flights, new openings, anniversaries and special events for 2016’s hotlist.

Bordeaux - The new world wine capital?

With its wide boulevards and neoclassical buildings on the banks of the Garonne, Bordeaux has never been short of ambition. Now the centre of the region that produces the biggest volume of fine wines in France wants to be known as the wine capital of the world. And it’s staking its claim with the opening in June of an ultra-modern museum, La Cité du Vin, “exploring the evolution of wine and honouring all vintages of the planet”.

Already dubbed the “Guggenheim of wine”, the futuristic, glass-clad, curved building was designed to evoke wine flowing through a stemmed glass, and aims to liberate wine tourism from its stuffy, elitist reputation. The 10-storey building will house an “immersive” tour of viniculture, including a “theatre of experts”, with professionals appearing as holograms dispensing advice, and “magic binoculars” for looking out over the world’s vineyards. There will be a restaurant at the top of the 55-metre viewing tower, and once visitors have had their fill of theory, boats can shuttle them to vineyards on the outskirts of Bordeaux. "

"The region that produces the biggest volume of fine wines in France now wants to be known as the world's wine capital."

Read the full Guardian article here.

Putting on the Glitz
Reviews of 'Art Deco 1910 - 1939' at the V&A, London...
View Project
Art Deco 1910 - 1939
The Guardian's Fiona MacCarthy:
"It has been beautifully designed… plays subtly on art deco, bringing out the lovely shimmer and extremes of light and shade. ... This exhibition is big, beautiful, intelligent and seductive – a show it would be ridiculous to miss."
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2003/apr/03/art.artsfeatures

The Telegraph's Richard Dorment:
"Some movements in the decorative arts… exude a po-faced moral earnestness… Art Deco alone aims at glamour – and not glamour only, but sexual allure. The architectural firm of Casson Mann, who designed the sleek, chic, installation for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Art Deco exhibition, understands this perfectly. Displaying the works of art against a colour range of black, silver and grey, they have made every object in the show look desirable in the physical as well as in the covetable sense of the word."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/3591844/Decades-shaped-by-sex.html
 

Museum of the Year Finalist
The Imperial War Museum is a finalist for the Art Fund...
View Project
First World War Galleries
The Imperial War Museum is a finalist for the Art Fund Museum of the Year Award.

"Following an incredible £40m renovation, London's flagship war museum reopened in July 2014, 100 years after the First World War began." artfund.org

And to see the IWM's finalist film, please click here.

CdV in the News
La Cité du Vin - Des meilleurs articles de la semaine
View Project
La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin features in the French local press.

Please see below snippets of articles from French newspapers; 
Les Cahiers du Tourisme, Aujourd’hui en France, Mieux vivre votre argent, Sud-Ouest and BTP Magazine Echos.

Here are some links to online articles:
courrierinternational.com
rue89bordeaux.com
itineraires-vignoble.fr
terredevins.com
vindepropriete.com
infosbar.com

 

Churchill Museum 'worth the wait'
Reviews on the Churchill Museum, London...
View Project
Churchill War Rooms
The Wall Street Journal's Jeremy Hildreth:
'The modest aim of the museum’s backers was to create “the benchmark for personality museums in the 21st century” and I’d say they’ve pulled it off.
There are screens to touch, evolving maps to study, and even an electronic pond (a la the one at the Churchill’s family estate, Chartwell) that you can fish in. Paradoxically, the effect of all this cutting edge gimcrackery—and this is intentional—is a visitor experience that is “tactile and pre-digital” to use the words of graphic designer Nick Bell, whose team collobrated on the project. “We tried to reflect a mid-century, analog, paper-driven world using [current] technology,” Mr Bell says, and to “retain [for people] a sense of opening dusty files in an archive.”
The “dusty files” refer particularly to the Lifeline, a 3-foot-wide, 40-foot-long digital display table that cost more than half a million dollars and has to be seen to be believed.'
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB110791668999649682

The Guardian's Stephen Bates:
'The modern technology at the new museum would baffle and bedazzle Churchill. Tread on a sensor and a recording of the “blood, toil, tears and sweat” speech booms forth, while a touchscreen computer lifeline chronicles his career.'
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/feb/10/artsandhumanities.conservatives


The Daily Telegraph's Catriona Davies:
'The interactive exhibits, audio-visual displays and animations bring the life of the man recently named as the “Greatest Briton of All Time” to a new generation.
Admiral Sir Jock Slater, chairman of the Imperial War Museum, said: “The museum allows visitors to explore his life in detail and decide whether he merits the accolade ‘great' '
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1483268/6m-Churchill-museum-worth-the-wait.html
 

La Monde on La Cité du Vin
La Cité du vin de Bordeaux, musée grand cru...
View Project
La Cité du Vin
See the latest article from Le Monde on La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux.

http://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2016/02/24/la-cite-du-vin-musee-grand-cru_4870913_3246.html

Atmosphere Opening
Coverage of the 'Atmosphere Gallery' opening at the Science Museum, London...
View Project
Atmosphere: Exploring Climate Science
The Londonist:
"There’s a surprising warmth and beauty to this techno-excess that immediately draws you in”
http://londonist.com/2010/12/atmosphere-gallery-opens-at-science-museum

The London Insider:
"A breakaway from dull and uninspiring museum displays, the Atmosphere Gallery has a beautiful aesthetic and an innovative mix of technology, exhibits and content. From the moment one walks in, it’s hard not to get excited. Bathed in a calming blue hue, visitors’ eyes are normally first drawn to the delicate representation of the atmosphere perched in the air. But eyes soon begin to wander, because this is far from a static gallery. Rather than viewing the gallery, you become part of the gallery, with projections and information constantly changing all around you – on the floor, in the air and on the walls – and in response to the activity of the gallery’s guests"
http://www.london-insider.co.uk/2010/12/review-atmosphere-gallery-science-museum/

 

Casson Mann win DBA GOLD Award
The Design Effectiveness Award for the Great North Museum...
View Project
Great North Museum
Casson Mann and Nick Bell Design win the DBA Design Effectiveness Gold Award 2011 for the Great North Museum.

"Since it opened in 1884, the Hancock Museum has always played an important part in the local heritage of the North East. But with limited space, outmoded displays and dispersed collections, the museum was in need of urgent redevelopment.

Casson Mann / Nick Bell Design were briefed to devise a solution that would improve visitor access, make collections more accessible, and bring three museum sites together. They responded by opening up and redesigning the original building to expose previously hidden collections. They integrated gallery communications tools, refreshed directional signage and simplified exhibition graphics. They also created purpose-built learning spaces to enhance the educational experience for all ages.

Since the redevelopment, visitor figures are approaching three times the annual predicted level, with a 98% visitor satisfaction rate. Despite increased footfall congestion has been avoided; gift-shop revenue is up 75%, and the Museum is currently the most visited attraction in the North East."

http://2011.effectivedesign.org.uk/2010/heritage/newcastle.php

Lascaux opening December 15th 2016
A press event held on the site of Lascaux today...
View Project
The Caves at Lascaux
A press event held on the site of Lascaux today announced that the new Museum will be opening on December 15th 2016.

Follow this link to find out more information and to watch a video of the press event.

Reimagining the Distant Past
Phaidon reports on Casson Mann and Snøhetta's designs for Lascaux...
View Project
The Caves at Lascaux
Phaidon reports on Casson Mann and Snøhetta's designs for Lascaux.

"Snøhetta and exhibition designers Casson Mann are reimagining the distant past. They’re responsible for the winning design in a competition to create a €50m structure to house some extremely old pictures. This is no conventional gallery but a subterranean visitor attraction which will both bring alive and protect some 20,000-year-old cave paintings. The location is Lascaux in south-west France, which boasts some of the most extraordinary Paleolithic paintings. The intention is to establish Lascaux and the area as an internationally, culturally and scientifically significant attraction in terms of art from this period.

The architects envisage the International Cave Painting Centre as a structure that’s so low-lying it’s mostly on a level with the surrounding hills and forestry. In fact the building’s profile is in keeping with the contours of the surrounding limestone topography.

Underground, Casson Mann picture tunnels, cavernous rooms and smaller chambers lit by skylights. “Our task is to ensure that every visitor leaves with a sense of having been close to something very special,” say the designers. “For this, we will find ways to encourage the suspension of normal life and an opening up to heightened perception, quiet thought and a free imagination.”

The concept doesn’t expect visitors to imagine themselves as Cro-Magnon man. “Instead," the designers say, "we are asking them to imagine that they are following the three boys and the dog who discovered the cave in 1940; how they must have felt when they slid down into the Hall of the Bulls; how, as the extent of the cave became revealed, the collective power of the images confirmed that this was a major find.”

But to go back just seven decades, the audience will have to make some adjustments. “Visitors are asked to leave their 21st-century accessories in the cloakrooms and equip themselves with an interactive torch and explorer’s cape.”

See the full article here

The architects on this project are co-concepteurs Snohetta and Duncan Lewis - Scape Architecture.

Extraordinary World Heritage Site
l'Arca international Magazine reports on Lascaux...
View Project
The Caves at Lascaux
Featured in the l'Arca International Magazine, September-October, 2013 issue.

Le smartphone au coeur du musée du futur
Les Echos on Lascaux...
View Project
The Caves at Lascaux
French Newspaper Les Echos reports on Lascaux and the future of technology in museums.

Le smartphone au coeur du musée du futur

Stanley Spencer 'Exhibition of the Week'
Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War exhibition opens this week...
View Project
Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War
Stanley Spencer 'Heaven in a Hell of War' exhibition opens this week at Somerset House, London

Magazine The Week gives it the title of 'Exhibition of the Week'

And see more coverage here from Londonist.com


 

Auckland given the go ahead
Auckland Castle museum's £17m revamp given the go-ahead...
"Plans for a £17m museum and restoration project at a County Durham museum have been given the go-ahead.
The proposed redevelopment of Auckland Castle - home to the Bishops of Durham for 800 years - is hoped to attract 130,000 visitors a year."


Read more about this exciting news here

A great weekend spent in Blackpool...
A great weekend spent in Blackpool...
We are very proud to have taken part in the  'Museum in the Making' event held in Blackpool's Winter Gardens at the weekend.

Engineer Your Future Opening
The Prince of Wales opens new exhibition at the Science Museum London...
View Project
Engineer Your Future
See details to plan your visit here

Nominated for 'Best Permanent Exhibition'
Nelson, Navy, Nation nominated for M&H 'Best Permanent Exhibition' award...
View Project
Nelson, Navy, Nation
Nelson, Navy, Nation, National Maritime Museum, London
Museums and Heritage Awards - nominated for best permanent exhibition category.
 

Beaney for Beautiful South Awards
Beaney House highly commended...
View Project
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury
Beautiful South Awards - highly commended, in the Large Attraction category.
 
 

Hollywood Costume Wins D&AD Award
View Project
Hollywood Costume
Hollywood Costume, Victoria & Albert Museum, London 
D&AD In Book award, Spatial Design category 

 

Beaney Wins Sandford Award
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge wins Heritage Education Award...
View Project
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury 
Heritage Education Trust Sandford Award 2013 

 

Beaney Wins Culture Award
Beaney House wins Cultural Landscape Award...
View Project
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury
Culture Awards 2013 - Cultural Landscape Award 

 

Lighting Design Award
Atmosphere Galleries at the Science Museum win the 2012 Lighting Design Award...
View Project
Atmosphere: Exploring Climate Science
Atmosphere...
Exploring Climate Science,
Science Museum,
London 

Lighting Design Award 2012

Category: Public Buildings
 

Atmosphere Wins MUSE Award
Under the category of 'Interpretive Interactive Installations'...
View Project
Atmosphere: Exploring Climate Science
Atmosphere... exploring climate science, Science Museum, London.
MUSE award for Interpretive Interactive Installations - Honorable Mention

 

Who Am I? Gallery Commendation
Who Am I? Gallery receives Design Week 'Installations' Commendation
View Project
Who Am I?
Who Am I? Gallery, Science Museum, London
2011 Design Week Award for Installations - Commendation

 

RIBA Award
The Great North Museum wins RIBA award...
View Project
Great North Museum
The Great North Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne wins 2010 RIBA Award

Design Week Award for Great North
The Great North Museum receives a Design Week commendation...
View Project
Great North Museum
The Great North Museum,
Newcastle upon Tyne 

2010 Design Week Award for Museums, Galleries and Visitor Attractions - Commendation
 

FX Award for Churchill Museum
For Best Museum, Exhibition or Installation Design...
View Project
Churchill War Rooms
Churchill Museum,
Cabinet War Rooms,
London

FX Award Best Museum, Exhibition or Installation Design

 

Welcome to our New Website
We are pleased to announce the launch of our New Website...
We are pleased to announce the launch of our New Website!

With thanks to Nick Bell Design and mimeArtist.


Website design by Nick Bell Design 
Website interaction design and build by mimeArtist

 

Outstanding Achievement in Digital Installations
Churchill Museum Awarded a D&AD Yellow Pencil...
View Project
Churchill War Rooms
Churchill Museum,
Cabinet War Rooms,
London

Awarded for Outstanding Achievement in Digital Installations

Council of Europe Museum Award
Churchill Museum wins Council of Europe Museum Award...
View Project
Churchill War Rooms
Churchill Museum,
Cabinet War Rooms,
London

Council of Europe Museum Award
 

Design Week Joint Winner
Churchill Museum's Lifeline Table Awarded...
View Project
Churchill War Rooms
Lifeline Table,
Churchill Museum,
Cabinet War Rooms,
London

Design Week Awards Joint Winner Interactive Media – Information
 

Design Week Awards Winner
Churchill Museum wins Design Week Award...
View Project
Churchill War Rooms
Churchill Museum,
Cabinet War Rooms,
London

Design Week Awards Winner:
Museums, Galleries & Visitor Attractions
 

CdV 2011 Press Coverage
2011's coverage of La Cité du Vin...
View Project
La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux featured in a variety of press over 2011, see some of the online articles here:

bordeaux.org.uk
cyberarchi.com
designweek.co.uk
Yahoo.com
attractionsmanagement.com
museuminsider.co.uk
 

A New Kind of Museum
Museum Insider reports on La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux...
View Project
La Cité du Vin
"Oenophilia, the Greek word for the love of wine (oinos) is not a word often heard in common English parlance, but it is probably more widely used in Bordeaux, where a 55 million Euro heritage project focusing on wine is currently in development.

The heart of the wine country
“Wine and its cultivation have been at the heart of civilization since the dawn of humanity” – so states the website of Bordeaux’s Centre Culturel et Touristique du Vin (Wine Culture and Tourism Centre), due to open to the public in May 2015 (in time for Bordeaux’s biennial wine fair, Vinexpo). The Centre’s mission is to transmit this ‘age-old culture’ to a global public, and to contribute to the protection of this ‘universal intangible heritage’. The project, whose 55 million Euro budget, is a 73% public/ 27% privately funded initiative, with contributions coming from the EU, the City of Bordeaux, the Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux (the Urban Community of Bordeaux) and the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (the Bordeaux Interprofessional Council of Wine) amongst others.

Situated in Bordeaux, the ‘economic and cultural wine capital of the world’ and a UNESCO world heritage site in part due to the importance of its wine cultivation, the creation of the Wine Cultural and Tourism Centre will reinforce the global image of Bordeaux as a tourist metropolis. Currently welcoming close to 3 million tourists each year, the city anticipates that the Centre will welcome at least 425,000 visitors annually and that approximately 40 million Euro will be injected into the local economy thanks to the Centre’s activities. In expectation of a global appeal, the interpretation of the permanent galleries will be translated into eight languages.

The Centre is described as neither a museum, nor a visitor experience, but occupying an ‘unprecedented position in between’, offering the best of both worlds. It will offer a multifaceted visitor experience, encompassing cultural, historical, scientific, ethnographical, geographical and philosophical themes relating to wine and its production. It will examine how, over the past 5,500 years, wine ‘has sculpted our landscape, accompanied our beliefs, our customs, our traditions, our social practices, and colonised our imaginations’."

A unique design
The singular and audacious architectural concept was one of the principal grounds for the job being awarded to the team of French architectural practice X-Tu alongside British exhibition design firm Casson Mann in May 2011, from a shortlist of 5 (reduced from a long list of 112). The building ‘does not resemble any known form because it seeks to evoke the spirit of wine, between the river and the city’. It reproduces in architectural form the element of liquid, the movement of wine as it swirls in the glass. This swirl or 'tourbillon’ will be repeated in the plan and the modeling of the space through its twisting forms and is designed to be experienced somatically by the visitor. Other wine-related features are embodied in the building’s interior. One of the galleries is to be submerged into the floor like an archaeological excavation and constructed from the same wood used for wine crates. One of the central space’s modular units will be shaped like a yeast culture and will be embedded with interactive screens as well as objects to touch and smell. Another section, Portraits of wine, will be entered via structures whose form will resemble anabstracted bottle, and will contain an interactive station activated by gesture technology.

A wide-ranging interpretative programme
The Centre will accommodate a series of permanent galleries, temporary displays, a reading room, and regular events within a cultural and artistic programme as well as ‘festive’ happenings. The experience is intended to be ‘playful, spectacular, sensorial, technological, and innovating’. The permanent exhibition will be made up of a number of themed sections including the following:
- Vineyards of the world
- In the heart of the winelands
- Metamorphosis of wine
- Wine on the water
- Wine and the imagination
- The itinerary of the five senses
- Wine and you
- Bordeaux in time and space

The temporary display area is in a 750 square metre space and will feature a varied programme of cultural and festive activities of exhibitions, literary and gastronomic events and film screenings. The programme will also include wine workshops for children and adults alike, from absolute beginners to practised connoisseurs. (Family visitors will be relieved to know that there is no wine-tasting planned within the child-friendly exhibition galleries). A 250-seat auditoriumwill also accommodate various artistic, cultural and scientific events.

See the full Museum Insider article here

Also in the press this month, French news magazine Le Point

CdV in the Making
Report on the development of La Cité du Vin...
View Project
La Cité du Vin
France3 Aquitaine reports on the development of La Cité du Vin.
See the full article here 
 

Re-designing Franklin Museum
Dinah Casson talks to Museums & Heritage...
View Project
Benjamin Franklin Museum
"Situated in the Independence National Park in Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin Museum has been completely re-designed 36 years after it first opened. The National Park Service maintain the building envelope and site, but a number of partners and sponsors including the Pew Foundation oversaw the redevelopment plan and raised the finances for the new museum exhibition. Dinah Casson of Casson Mann and Rosalind Remer of Remer & Talbott talked to Advisor about their close collaboration on this project to re-design the museum of one of America’s iconic sons."

Read the full Museums & Heritage article here 

Clothes Maketh the Movie Star
The Sunday Times reports on Hollywood Costume...
View Project
Hollywood Costume
"Featuring as many eye-popping costumes as a Busby Berkeley musical, and busting as many sexy moves as Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, Hollywood Costume, at the V&A, is the movie show of the year..."

Casson Mann appointed for Nottingham Castle
CM are very pleased to join this exciting new project...
"Work to establish Nottingham Castle as a world class heritage destination takes a major step forward today with the announcement of Purcell UK as the project architects and Casson Mann as the exhibition designers.
These specialist suppliers will now commence work on finalising the detailed plans that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) requires before assessing the application for a final award of £12.9 million confirmed funding towards the £24 million project."


See the full news reports here:

mynottinghamnews.com
nottinghampost.com

Hintze Hall Dippy Debates
The Natural History Museum reveal new plans for Hintze Hall...
View Project
Hintze Hall
"A vast blue whale skeleton is set to welcome visitors through the Museum's main entrance from summer 2017. The whale will take the place of the Diplodocus cast that has stood in Hintze Hall for 35 years.
The decision to suspend the blue whale skeleton from the ceiling of Hintze Hall (previously Central Hall) is part of a larger plan to show new specimens in the space. The new displays will tell the story of our connection with the natural world through the Museum's unique collections and research."
Natural History Museum, London


See more reports of the exciting new plans here:
bbc.co.uk
independent.co.uk
independent.co.uk
architectsjournal.co.uk

Dippy the Dinosaur Twitter Chat
Casson Mann follows the national debate...
View Project
Hintze Hall
Dippy himself tweets:

"After 109 yrs indoors, I’m being released back into the wild to stretch my legs in front of people who wouldn’t otherwise see me"
#SaveDippy 


See more on our Twitter page here

Imperial War Museum - Now Open
The Duke of Cambridge and David Cameron open the new Galleries...
View Project
First World War Galleries
We are pleased to announce that the Imperial War Museum, London has now re-opened to the public. The museum has gone through a major regeneration project and now has a new atrium by Foster and Partners, and whole new galleries by Casson Mann.

The re-opening has been widely covered by the press, use the links below to see some of these reports.

"The Duke of Cambridge and Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited IWM London today to officially open the brand new First World War Galleries. The new Galleries draw upon IWM’s First World War collections, the richest and most comprehensive in the world."
1914.org

"Across the gallery, lighting, sound, media, objects and voices are used to create ‘dramatic moments and poignant encounters’ which are both ‘shocking and visceral’ and ‘reflective and intimate"
designweek.co.uk

"These galleries really do represent the cutting edge both in museum design and in historical scholarship."
ibtimes.co.uk

"Every object in our collection, large and small, tells a personal story and through these new and creative displays we will showcase the continuing work of the museum to collect, preserve and display people's experiences,"
bbc.co.uk

"What we wanted to create instead was a dynamic new central space that draw out the life stories of these objects to release the energy and intrigue that we could see in all of them, - Nigel Steel"
museumsassociation.org

"Imperial War Museum 'gets the wow factor'"
standard.co.uk

dezeen.com

 

Shock: bringing the first world war to life
Roger Mann on connecting a 100-year-old conflict to a modern audience...
View Project
First World War Galleries
Roger Mann writes about designing the First World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum for The Guardian:

"As exhibition designers, experience stands at the heart of all of our projects, perhaps even more so when the subject is human conflict. Today we have ready access to films, documentaries and computer games that depict war in high-budget hyper-reality, but museums have one very big advantage over this competing media: real objects."

"With technology we have a more diverse palette of interpretation techniques to help make objects speak, but preserving the contemporaneous in a modern gallery is a delicate thing.
Modern digital media is a case in point. Done well it can be a powerful tool to evoke visceral experiences that connect younger generations with difficult stories and concepts, but to ensure a seamless experience, they have to be used with great care and sensitivity to both the object and the history."


See the full Guardian article here

CdV & Casson Mann on France3 News
Featuring CM Project Manager Laure Cheung...
View Project
La Cité du Vin
France3 Aquitaine reports on the development of La Cité du Vin. - within only 80 days to go to the opening. 
Casson Mann's Project Manager Laure Cheung at the Bordeaux site.
See the full article here 
 

Nelson in Museums Journal
The Museums Journal reviews Nelson, Navy, Nation...
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Nelson, Navy, Nation
Steven Lowy reports on Nelson, Navy, Nation - the new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

"...the gallery succeeds in telling the story of the navy as well as the personal stories of the officers and ordinary sailors, while providing pride of place to the star of the show, Nelson."

The Guardian reports on Nelson, Navy, Nation...
The Guardian reports on Nelson, Navy, Nation...
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Nelson, Navy, Nation
Maev Kennedy reviews the new exhibition at the Nation Maritime Museum - Nelson, Navy, Nation...

Admiral positioned as essential cog in wheel of a superior navy rather than heroic maverick he is often portrayed as

"It might outrage some traditionalists to discover that Horatio Nelson only appears halfway through the new gallery bearing his name at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. What's more, the admiral is portrayed as just one of many heroes – and a flawed one at that.

The gallery displays some of the most important objects in any national collection, including the uniform coat Nelson was wearing on the deck of HMS Victory on 21 October 1805 when, during the Battle of Trafalgar, a French sniper found his mark. The bullet pierced his shoulder and lung, lodging in his spine and carrying some of the gold braid from his epaulette deep into his body.

The star object, however, is a far rarer survival – a pair of ordinary seaman's blue striped trousers, displayed beside a cat-o'-nine tails, the lash with which discipline was maintained until 1879."


See the full online article here

WW1 Centenary Exhibition
Now open at the Melbourne Museum...
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WW1 Centenary Exhibition
WW1 Centenary Exhibition is HOT on the Mel Hot or Not list:

"The WW1 Centenary Exhibition is an outstanding touring exhibition developed by the Imperial War Museum in London to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The world premiere of the exhibition opens Saturday 18 April at Melbourne Museum and I was invited to a media preview.

World War I is a vast and complex topic to cover and The WW1 Centenary Exhibition does a great job in focusing on certain elements of the history. It’s an exhibition not just for military history buffs (though there’s plenty to interest them), as it also explores the political backdrop of the era, social issues particularly those relating to women, as well as revealing many personal stories of those who died and survived the war.

The visitor is guided through each section through a series of high walls which are meant to represent the trenches in a battlefield landscape. To further evoke to chilling effect of trench warfare overhead some specially developed graphics are projected onto large screens and the scenery changes from daytime to night time as a soldier in the trenches might see, looking above at the sky. The effect is quite chilling and it’s worth watching the whole loop for 18 minutes.

I think The WW1 Centenary Exhibition will strike a chord with every visitor. It effectively uses multimedia, artefacts, oral histories, projections and artworks to tell an emotive story of humanity, devastation and life going on. You will be informed, and moved."

Read the full article here: 
http://www.melhotornot.com/hot-ww1-centenary-exhibition
 

60 Second Interview with Roger Mann
Greenway Associates talk design with Roger
To see the online article please click here, or read the full interview here:
 
Roger Mann is one half of Casson Mann, a design company specialising in exhibitions, museums and interiors. Our last project with Roger was "Nelson, Navy, Nation". This permanent exhibition at the National Maritime Museum is now open and admission is free. 
 
What are you working on right now?

We have recently started working on two very exciting and rather different projects: a major gallery on the history of flight for the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, and a brand new museum for Blackpool to celebrate the unique place it holds in the development of British popular culture.  “Feathers to the stars” will show how human ingenuity, curiosity, and the impulse to see further and go farther gave rise to human flight.  Telling Blackpool’s story will be an “unconventional” experience: in a refurbished Pavilion Theatre within the Winter Gardens, we are seeking to create a dynamic blend of museum, visitor attraction and theatre, to bring together artifacts, multimedia and performance in a manner that communicates the lively spirit of this special town.
 
Favourite interior space in London?

I have to say the Central Hall at the Natural History Museum - recently renamed Hintze Hall. I’m a Londoner and since I can remember, along with many thousands of other kids growing up in this city, this was my favourite museum to visit. Waterhouse’s stunning Romanesque architecture animated by all the creatures playfully incorporated into the terracotta is magical, particularly with the sunlight streaming in. For the last year or so, we have been tasked with redeveloping this extraordinary space, to design new displays in all the side bays, the balconies and even look at what might replace the Diplodocus cast in the centre, and it feels like a huge privilege.
 
You use a clearly defined story as the filter for design decisions. How are you able to get the story so well defined? 

We place a great deal of emphasis on research and listening to experts, working with curators, and we have in-house expertise in developing narratives. As part of our process, we are always asking ourselves, ‘What do visitors really want to know? What will excite and inspire them?’. 
 
Do your personal design preferences ever creep into a project, or is it always strictly about the story?

It is very much about the two coming together. The story is always the starting point and the challenge is how to transform that story into an engaging spatial experience for visitors. Knowing that most museum visitors do not want to read large amounts of text, it is important that every aspect of the environment helps to tell the story. To achieve this, the narrative provides the rationale for all the design decisions and material choices we make.

At the same time, as an interior designer, I am passionate about creating meticulously detailed, dramatically lit, beautiful spaces; about orchestrating all aspects of a complex narrative environment - materiality, form, light, colour, sound, media, movement - into one holistic vision; about making environments that stimulate a heightened sense of spatial and sensory awareness in the visitor, a greater openness to engaging with the story.

Each project is bespoke - a tailored response to subject and context, rigorously driven by the story and finely tuned by personal sensibilities.
 
Cost will always impact the brief, but does cost ever limit design? 

We are very inventive, finding cost-effective ways of achieving impactful solutions, but it is important that client ambition and the budget are in the same ballpark from the very early stages of any project.
 
Any examples of how you have worked around a cost limitation?

Working with good cost consultants from the outset of a project very much allows us to avoid the situation arising.
 
When you visit an exhibition or a museum, what do you appreciate most?

Fantastic objects, great stories, clever and engaging interpretation, excellent lighting, materiality that is relevant, and spatial design that dynamically underpins the narrative and creates a unique visitor journey – when all this comes together it is usually a very memorable experience.
 
How should visitor spaces adapt for the Google generation?

Visitor spaces certainly need to attract the Google generation and we can learn a great deal from the way that young people discuss, share and interact with complex media. We really enjoy designing spaces that integrate digital media as the possibilities for bringing subjects to life become so interesting. But we believe that there is often nothing to beat an up-close experience with an original artifact - even for the Google generation. 
 
We don’t read anymore. How has multimedia affected the visitor experience?

We think that multimedia - when it is used carefully and effectively - can really enhance the visitor experience. And did people ever read? It is difficult to think that those long text panels covered with clever words ever really got people excited ... 
 
Museums and Galleries have traditionally been places for to inform, to preserve and to share. Is this changing? 

No I don’t think it is. Museums and galleries might be changing. But they are becoming better places: better at informing, preserving and, certainly, better at sharing with audiences. 
 
 
 
 

Shine a Light on the Detail of Design
An interview with Dinah & Roger for New Design Magazine...
Dinah Casson and Roger Mann talk to Alistair Welch about Casson Mann's approach to design...

"The popularity of museums and exhibitions is at an all time high in the UK, but the modern museum-goer expects far more than a handful of artefacts gathering dust in a cabinet. Visitors want to learn, yes, but they expect an experience that is coherent, engaging and moving as well as educational. As a result, the role of exhibition or gallery designer is increasingly important. However, design for museums remains to an extent an invisible discipline with critics and reviewers more likely to focus their praise or ire on an exhibition’s curators rather than its designers.

Nevertheless, design undoubtedly has a significant impact on a visitor’s overall experience of a museum, exhibition or gallery. In conversation with New Design, Roger Mann and Dinah Casson of interior architecture practice Casson Mann endeavour to shine a light on the detail of design for museum spaces.

Casson Mann was established in 1984 and since the mid 1990s has focussed primarily on work for museums, permanent galleries, cultural centres, temporary and touring exhibitions, and multi-media installations. Amongst the practice’s award-winning work are the recent Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A, the Churchill Museum at the Cabinet War Rooms, and the Treasures Gallery at the Natural History Museum.

The practice continues to work on British projects but has also undertaken two significant commissions in France. The Cité des Civilisations du Vin, to be opened in October 2016, will be the world’s largest visitor centre dedicated to the story of wine with a series of displays exploring wine’s place in history, culture and society. Furthermore, Casson Mann has been appointed to design a visitor centre for Lascaux IV – a new digital facsimile of the famous Lascaux cave paintings."


To read the article in full, please click here

Casson Mann Launch New Website
Casson Mann celebrate 30 years of success with the launch of bold and playful new website...
Casson Mann celebrate 30 years of success with the launch of bold and playful new website
 
Exhibition, environmental and interior design specialist Casson Mann today unveils its new website. Bold, playful and informative, its modern approach to design and interaction reflects the studio’s own commitment to innovation, engagement and experiential design.
 
“After sticking with the same website for many years, we felt ready for something fresh that breaks with conventions and pushes expectations of what a website can do and be, making at the same time a strong statement about our own approach to projects”, says co-founder Roger Mann.
 
Working closely with Nick Bell Design was key to the project. Having collaborated with Casson Mann for many years, Nick Bell knew the firm well enough to deliver a fresh and surprising design experience that really taps into their creative DNA. As Nick explains, “The concept for the website’s interaction design – the idea of content (images and text) on ‘physical’ carriers (cards) arranged in ‘stacks’– comes from the interface design for the Lifeline Table in the Churchill Museum that I worked on with Roger on back in 2004”. Just as that innovative table provided a few challenges at the time, some people thought this approach was impossible to adapt into web design, but James Stone at mimeArtist was able to provide the necessary expertise to successfully develop it for web and mobile.
 
An ideal concept that connects with Casson Mann’s pioneering and award winning approach to exhibition design, this bold and playful design experience marks a significant milestone as the firm celebrates 30 years of extraordinary success. Never complacent, this is a team that continually pushes forward with new ideas about engagement that has seen it awarded and recognised for its transformational designs.
 
The success of Casson Mann’s approach is evident in the busy year ahead, as the team prepares for the opening of 4 significant projects in 2016 (two new prestigious visitor centres in France, one in Miami, and a restaurant project in London) and a clutch of new projects in progress, due to open between 2017 and 2020.
 
‘We didn’t think we could continue to push clients to change if we were not prepared to change ourselves. I think the new site gets close to offering visitors to our virtual world something similar to what we strive to offer our visitors in reality – an enjoyable way to find out about things.’

Website design by Nick Bell Design 
Website interaction design and build by mimeArtist

One Aldwych new Restaurant
We are delighted to announce our collaboration with One Aldwych...
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Eneko at One Aldwych
Casson Mann are delighted to announce our collaboration with One Aldwych Hotel London in the creation of an exciting new restaurant and bar, Eneko at One Aldwych. 

A partnership between One Aldwych Hotel London and Azurmendi Bilbao, Eneko At One Aldwych will open in Summer 2016 and will feature three Michelin-starred Chef Eneko Atxa’s inventive interpretation of traditional Basque country cuisine, inspired by his acclaimed restaurant Azurmendi, but delivered in a relaxed and friendly fashion.
 
The Covent Garden restaurant is the brainchild of Eneko Atxa and Kostas Sfaltos, One Aldwych's General Manager, who commented: “Eneko has incredible vision and passion for Basque cuisine and shares the same standards of quality, quest for innovation and respect for traditions as we do”.
 
Eneko’s Azurmendi is currently ranked number 19 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and his Bistró Prêt À Porter has a Michelin Bib Gourmand. He says: "We aim to create an unpretentious modern take on rustic Basque cuisine, based on quality ingredients, simplicity and culinary heritage. One Aldwych Hotel is the perfect partner for this joint creation”.
 
One Aldwych Hotel, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, opened in 1998 and continues to be one of London’s most acclaimed luxury hotels. Its many awards include Best Boutique Hotel in the World, London Luxury Hotel of the Year and Best Hotel in London.
 
Casson Mann has worked closely with Kostas Sfaltos and Eneko Atxa to craft an interior design concept that reflects their shared vision, values and passion for heritage, traditions and culture.
 
Casson Mann director, Roger Mann says: “Eneko at One Aldwych is not just another restaurant - this is something truly special. We are proud to be working in close collaboration with Eneko Atxa and One Aldwych, creating a space for people to enjoy Eneko’s food; a place people will want to return to again and again.”
 
More details about the design concept will be available soon. 
 

La Cité du Vin Press Release
Bordeaux unveils a landmark attraction with a permanent exhibition...
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La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin: the city of Bordeaux unveils a landmark attraction with a permanent exhibition dedicated to the art, culture and commerce of wine
 
With an immersive visitor experience designed by leading British environmental and exhibition design firm Casson Mann, Cité du Vin’s permanent tour celebrates the story of wine across 22 themed installations and exhibits.

Appointed on winning an international competition in 2011, with a budget over €12 million, Casson Mann have created a unique sensory experience that welcomes visitors to Parisian architects X-TU’s eye-catching building.
 
Responsible for conceptualising and art directing all elements of the permanent visitor experience, including audio-visual and media elements, Casson Mann’s ambitious scenographic vision and interior concept is sympathetic to the form, materials and spirit of an innovative architectural concept that references the liquid turbulence of poured wine.
 
Through a series of spectacular, innovative and playful displays, the center celebrates the links between wine, culture, history and society, so significant to this area of France, and which are shared by wine-producing nations across the globe.
 
Structured into themes, the tour introduces the visitor to the rich symbolic and cultural capital of wine, and illustrates the ways in which its history, geography, geology, oenology, arts and commerce have shaped the world’s cultures and landscapes throughout history, from 7000BC to the present day.

Spread across a floor space of more than 3,000sqm, 22 different large-scale exhibits feature interactive experiences that stimulate the senses – sight, sound, touch, and smell. They range from spectacular helicopter fly-overs of the world’s most stunning vineyards where visitors can literally smell the vines on a perfect spring day, intimate galleries in which visitors can examine the detail of historical documents and artefacts close up, to innovative displays that deconstruct wine making process and invite visitors to delve into the colour, taste, feel and aroma notes of different wines.
 
Says Roger Mann, “Our vision was to create a richly textured experience in which visitors can be inspired by wine in all its wonderful complexity, and our aim has been to play with display design and technology to create variety and interest yet remain relevant to the subject. This exhibition is completely audiovisual and multimedia, with sensory elements to surprise, delight, intrigue and educate visitors about the drama, art and craft that surrounds wine”. 
 
A truly international experience, visitors will be guided through the various installations with the help of an innovative personalised headset that dynamically translates the audio content into one of 8 languages. Unique in its off ear design, the headset simultaneously translates while enabling the visitor to remain connected to the soundscape and people around them.  

La Cité du Vin opens in June 2016

Building and exhibition facts:
Exhibition space: 3,000sqm
Building: 10,000m2
Internal layout: three-tiered main section and a tower topped by a panoramic viewing platform.
Materials: The building’s skeleton will be made of wood, covered by two layers of glass, and the upper level covered with photovoltaic panels.
 
Credits:
Scenography: Casson Mann
Roger Mann: Creative Director
Gary Shelley: Design Principle
Laure Cheung: Project Manager
 
Architects: X-TU

Eneko at One Aldwych
London
August 2016
ProjectClientWebsiteRelated News [7]
Project
Casson Mann’s first restaurant project is the interior for Basque Chef Eneko Atxa’s first London venture at the independent luxury hotel One Aldwych. Eneko’s three Michelin-starred Bilbao restaurant is ranked 16th in the world, yet the focus of his eponymous London restaurant is conviviality; a restaurant which guests will want to make their own. Casson Mann’s first consideration in the basement space was daylight: removing a floor to bathe the new bar and restaurant areas in light. Eneko’s singular approach to Basque cuisine, truthful always to the core characteristics of the ingredients, inspired the design team to use authentic materials, which express the spirit of the Basque region: stone, steel and wood. The result is a restaurant that captures contemporary Basque, with an infusion of creative London culture. 

Client
One Aldwych

Website

Related News [7]

Museum Experts features CdV and Lascaux
Annonce de l’ouverture en France de deux scénographies...
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La Cité du Vin
Museum Experts features La Cité du Vin and Lascaux IV. Casson Mann are opening two prestigious projects in France in 2016.

La Cité du Vin
In June 2016, the city of Bordeaux will unveil La Cité du Vin, a new flagship destination that celebrates the history, culture and art of wine. Leading British scenographers Casson Mann have created an ambitious and immersive visitor experience, which will occupy the first floor of the eye-catching landmark building by architects X-TU.

Spread across a floor space of more than 3,000sqm, 22 different large-scale exhibits feature interactive experiences that stimulate the senses – sight, sound, touch, and smell. Through a series of spectacular, innovative and playful displays, the exhibition celebrates the links between wine, culture, history and society, so significant to France and shared by wine-producing nations across the globe.

Structured into themes, the tour introduces the visitor to the rich symbolic and cultural capital of wine, and illustrates the ways in which its history, geography, geology, oenology, arts and commerce have shaped the world’s cultures and landscapes throughout history, from 7000BC to the present day.
 
Lascaux IV
With a vision to create wonderment, stimulate enquiry and foster inspiration, Casson Mann are creating a journey of discovery for the new visitor experience at Lascaux IV. Due to be opened in December 2016, this unique space will be housed within a stunning new centre, designed by architects Snøhetta.   

The visitor journey begins with a dramatic evocation of the cave’s discovery in 1940, and is followed by a series of further halls designed to answer, as far as possible, the inevitable questions that visitors will have after experiencing the extraordinary parietal art: How? When? Who? Why?

This truly innovative installation employs new technology to ensure that each visitor will be engaged and enchanted; whatever their nationality or age, they will perceive how extraordinary this place is, and forever carry this profoundly personal experience with them.

See the full article in French here
 

The Telegraph previews La Cité du Vin
First look inside Bordeaux's world-beating museum of wine...
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La Cité du Vin
A very descriptive and brilliant article about La Cité du Vin in the Telegraph by Anthony Peregrine. 


We have captured some of our favourite sections from the article:

"Thus, the Cité’s inspiration has been to bring in (alongside scientists, historians, oeonologists, and that sort of person) proper professional popularisers. The scenographers - London design agency Casson-Mann - have a track record of making stuff interesting. Digital and interactive elements burst out all over the place. It’s head-turning."

They’re reckoning on 450,000 visitors a year. I’d be surprised if they didn’t get them, for this is a hi-tech romp of huge imagination and charm. The building itself stands out sharply between river and wet-dock, a vast item curving up to 55-metres, its hundreds of aluminium and glass panels winking gold to echo the supposed sunlit colour of Bordeaux’s stone.

You are flying like Superman over vineyards of the world, Greece through Chile, by means of three giant screens.  It is mesmerising evidence of how vineyards adapt to landscapes, then re-define not only the land but also the architecture - and indeed, the associated lives. The soaring show (it’s short; I sat through it twice) underlines, too, that this isn’t a museum of Bordeaux wine but Bordeaux’s museum of world wine. So the claim to wine capital status is enhanced. 

Cultural and historical figures appear, played on screen by actors, to talk of wine. (“Who’s he?” I asked. “Winston Churchill,” said my guide. “Ah,” I said.) Pews line up before a patchwork of screens covering wine and religion, from Bacchus to Christ and beyond. One may subsequently contemplate the strong relation between wine and the arts, before strolling through an intriguing gallery of civilisations, covering wine from 6000BC to a lively version of 19th-century Paris. Later, a complete banqueting chamber comes alive with holograms and sound and a sort of floor-show tracking wine, food and festivities through the ages. So it continues, with a mini-display about the Dark Side of Drinking, (about which I know much already, so I skipped it). Bordeaux has a little corner to itself, the rapid-fire film reminding us (as the French themselves sometimes fail to) that the Bordeaux wine trade was created essentially by the British, Irish and Dutch.

Somewhere around here, one comes to a big chamber filled by a round, soft, red velvet settee. One sinks into it to contemplate wine’s role in romance being played out on the ceiling, planetarium-fashion.

A real highlight: a big room shaped like a boat, with enormous screens down two sides on which is played out the story of the maritime wine trade. As waves roll and schooners lurch, one gets the distinct impression of bouncing about afloat oneself. This is odd, because nothing’s moving. It’s a grand show, mind.

And there’s a great deal more besides, easily ample to fascinate the buff , a nine-year-old and most people in-between. I emerged, having absorbed a lot I didn’t know - about vineyards, culture, religion, trade, aromas - whilst also having had a high old time."


Read the full article here.
Photos credited to Anaka.

Decanter's Sneak Preview
Jane Anson gets a sneak preview tour of Bordeaux's €80m euro wine cultural centre...
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La Cité du Vin
Jane Anson gets a sneak preview tour of Bordeaux's €80m euro wine cultural centre; set to open to the public in June with the promise of tastings and a host of features, including a historical boat tour and a wine and erotica section...

"If you’ve walked through the trenches at the Imperial War Museum’s First World War Galleries in London, with shells exploding overhead and soldiers’ voices around you in the darkness, you might just believe me when I say you should get excited about the opening of Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, which is now less than one month away.
I mean it. Suspend your cynicism. While we’ve all been busy pointing to the failures of Vinopolis in London and Copia in Napa, and the general impossibility of creating a wine museum that can sustain visitor numbers over the long term, the Cité du Vin has been quietly getting ready to prove us all wrong. And it is in no small part down to two London scenographers Dinah Casson and Roger Mann, whose design agency has worked on a roll call of the world’s greatest exhibition spaces and installations, and just last year was awarded Best Permanent Exhibition gong at the Museums + Heritage awards for their trenches recreation. They are working on two projects in France right now – the new Lascaux IV visitor centre in the Dordogne, due to open December 2016, and this cultural space that hopes to become the Guggenheim of wine.

The team at Casson Mann has spent the past three years interpreting the vision of hundreds of geographers, oenologists, scientists, writers and historians, turning their knowledge into a museum with enough scale and ambition to connect with visitors in a notoriously tricky subject.

‘At the heart of it all,’ chief designer Gary Shelley puts it bluntly, ‘we had to work out a way to take the geeky aspects of wine and make them entertaining’.

Here he is confronting the central problem. It’s the same one that television and film producers have grappled with for decades (here’s to SOMM and Sideways for proving that it’s possible); how to make wine interesting to the wider public. And for an €81 million project largely backed by public funds, this is no small question. How do you make a wine museum engaging not only for tourists but to the local population so that they keep coming back and give it the vital spending power of the city itself?

One way, director Philippe Massol suggests, would be to avoid the term museum altogether.

‘It has associations with something static,’ he tells me as we meet up in his temporary office space just over the road from the Cité du Vin, ‘and that is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve here’.
An hour or so later, as I get a first-hand preview of what they have achieved, Roger Mann adds that there are other, rather more challenging, differences between the Cité du Vin and a traditional museum.

‘In most museums, we are working with real objects, relics of historical events that we can draw stories around. This is the biggest project that we have worked on where essentially there is a huge space and lots of data, processes and ideas to convey but very few actual physical objects. The challenge has been to make each themed section a distinctive experience using a variety of techniques involving classic storytelling and immersive digital technologies’.
We are standing in the centerpiece of the new building; a 3,000m² permanent exhibition that brings together 19 differently themed spaces to recount the history of wine from 6,000BC to the present day. We start off before a trio of five-metre high screens showing sweeping scenes of vineyards in a section entitled ‘World Tour’.
I don’t want to give too much away, because part of my pleasure was in the sheer surprise of what they have put together, but they’ve definitely come up with a few answers to the question of giving wine wide appeal.

For a start, there is a sense of fun and of playing with expectations at every point. You get a true sense of movement from large-scale immersive sections such as a 50-seater boat that takes you through the maritime history of wine from the Greeks and Romans to Dutch traders arriving in 17th century Japan to smaller, intimate areas such as one dedicated to wine and love, where you sink into huge red velvet sofas and look upwards to projections of artworks illustrating the theme of Bacchus and Venus.

Real winemakers are brought in throughout, always speaking their own languages (even French visitors will need to use the specially-designed headsets for simultaneous translation and there are nearly 300 infra-red detectors providing interactivity to a fleet of a thousand hand-held guides that each visitor will be issued with), and there are various spots at which you can get face to face not only with winemakers, chefs and sommeliers but with historical figures from Winston Churchill to Colette.

There is also a small section planned around the subject of wine and erotica; well, you’ll just have to see it for yourself. This area was still being designed when I visited.

But the biggest surprise is that in the whole exhibition there is only one module on Bordeaux (and even that comes care of an art director from Assassin’s Creed). Veronique Lemoine, scientific advisor, worked with over 100 advisors from over 40 countries and explains why the focus was never going to be solely on home turf.

‘From the very beginning we wanted this to be collaborative in a true sense,’ Lemoine says. ‘We have drawn on the expertise and generosity of wine regions around the world; this is a truly global museum. For the opening World Tour exhibit, for example, the army in Georgia lent us their helicopters to help take aerial shots of the vineyards. At first other regions were cynical that they would be presented as ‘good but not as good as Bordeaux’ but they quickly could see that this is not a centre about Bordeaux wine. It is a world wine centre based out of Bordeaux’.

And the team also seems to be aware that, for this to really succeed, it has to be more than just wine. ‘We learnt a lot from the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin,’ says Lemoine, ‘where they get one million visitors per year but a quarter come for the view from the Gravity Bar’. This gave the idea of the Belvedere wine bar on the top floor of the Cité du Vin, with a panoramic view of Bordeaux and its river. Then there is a reading room, the all-important shop, a restaurant, a tapas bar and wine store that will stock bottles from ‘between 70 and 80 countries at launch’, and a 250-seater auditorium that will show theatrical and musical events – and will kick off by screening football matches during Euro 2016, accompanied by wine tastings of the player countries.

‘If this was just about Bordeaux, it would be in competition with the chateaux here,’ says Massol. ‘We have always wanted to create something entirely different’.

There’s a quiet confidence about the team as they count down to opening – and I can see why. In three weeks time, on opening night, I would like to bet that there are going to be more than a few former cynics converted to the cause."


Read the full article here

France 3 visit Casson Mann
In a run-up to the Cité du Vin grand opening...
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La Cité du Vin
France 3 visited Casson Mann, in a run-up to the Cité du Vin Opening. We gave a toast to Bordeaux and in the spirit of the exhibition opening - drank some wine!

Read the full article here

Rencontre avec Casson Mann
Les scénographes londoniens de la Cité du Vin...
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La Cité du Vin
France 3 met with Casson Mann, and interviewed Roger and Gary about some past and present projects - including; the First World War Galleries, La Cité du Vin and Lascaux IV.

They visited our studio and some of our museum locations in London - i.e. Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum.

"They are British and worked alongside architects XTU. The designers Casson Mann were the scenographers of the Permanent exhibition on the 2nd floor of La Cité du Vin. They are experts in the design and scenography of museums around the world."

Please read the full article here and watch the video!

Bordeaux’s Extraordinary New Cité du Vin
Food & Wine report on CdV, as the new must-visit destination for any wine lover...
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La Cité du Vin
Bordeaux's La Cité du Vin, a cultural center dedicated to everything wine, is the new must-visit destination for any wine lover traveling through Europe.

Please read the great review written by Ray Isle for Food and Wine magazine:

"But what is a Cité du Vin? That was what I wanted to know, so I recently took a behind-the-scenes, pre-opening tour with the museum’s president, Sylvie Cazes. I was prepared to be disappointed, as pretty much every wine museum I’ve ever been to has been a snooze or worse: dusty old presses, historic pictures of grape harvests, plaques with dispiriting or mind-numbingly technical text. Instead, I was pretty much blown away by how cool it was.

The museum’s digital and interactive displays, created by the London design agency Casson Mann, are even more impressive than the building itself. The 20 different multimedia installations that form the permanent exhibition add up to one of the most entertaining, inspiring explorations into what wine is - culturally, sensorily, historically, economically, you name it - that I’ve ever seen. Video images of winemakers or farmers from a range of countries answer visitors’ questions about wine; vast screens give flyover vistas of the world’s great wine regions; a fifty-seat boat interactively recreates the feel of being on a wine merchant’s voyage over several centuries; on blank white tables ingenious projectors display dinner settings, food, and wine lists, while sommeliers or chefs - Hélène Darroze, for instance - sit in chairs around the table, talking about wine and food. (They aren’t actually there, of course, but it feels as though they are.) The brilliance and creativity of the exhibit designs is remarkable, and as a result this part of the complex feels more like something a movie studio would have come up with than a “museum.”

Read the full article here
 

Bordeaux’s la cité du vin to debut in June 2016
ITS LIQUID reports on the opening of the permanent exhibition...
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La Cité du Vin
Quote taken from ITS LIQUIDS article. Read full report here.

"For La Cité du Vin, Casson Mann’s designers came up with the idea of an innovative, immersive permanent tour which would make use of the latest interactive digital technologies and incorporate a brand new visitor tool: an individual, hand-held guide. This innovative permanent exhibition space places La Cité du Vin firmly among the world’s most interactive, original visitor experiences."
 

USA Today takes an inside look
The core visitor experience is the permanent exhibition...
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La Cité du Vin
Mary Winston Nicklin writes for USA TODAY about her 'inside look' into Bordeaux's new wine museum - La Cité du Vin.

"The core visitor experience is the permanent exhibition, a dazzling celebration of every facet of wine — the landscapes that produce it, the humans who coax the grapevines into greatness, wine’s connection to mythology and the sacred, its inspiration of the arts and societies, and its function as a joyful link between people.

This mind-blowing scenography was created by the experts at Casson Mann Limited, known for their work at world-class museums like London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, Design Museum, Natural History Museum and Imperial War Museum. The Cité du Vin is not a museum in the classic sense, in that there isn’t a collection of artwork or objects to be displayed. “The challenge was thus to create 19 unique multimedia [displays] that feel completely different,” Roger Mann tells USA TODAY."

Please read the full article here.

La Cité du Vin Now Open
The official inauguration took place on May 31st...
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La Cité du Vin
Bordeaux’s new cultural landmark features a permanent tour designed by Casson Mann – an immersive celebration of the story of wine across 22 interactive installations and exhibits.

Appointed on winning an international competition in 2011,  Casson Mann have created a unique sensory experience that will welcome 450,000 visitors annually, to Parisian architect XTU’s eye-catching building.

Responsible for conceptualising and art directing all elements of the permanent visitor experience, including audio-visual and media elements, Casson Mann’s ambitious scenographic vision and interior concept is sympathetic to the form, materials and spirit of an unique architectural concept that references the liquid turbulence of poured wine.

Spread across an oval floor space of more than 3,000sqm, 22 different large and small-scale exhibits feature interactive experiences that stimulate the senses – sight, sound, touch, and smell. They range from spectacular helicopter fly-overs of the world’s most stunning vineyards where visitors can literally smell the vines on a perfect spring day, intimate galleries in which visitors can examine the detail of historical documents and artefacts close up, to innovative displays that deconstruct wine making process and invite visitors to delve into the colour, taste, feel and aroma notes of different wines.

Structured into themes, the tour introduces the visitor to the rich symbolic and cultural capital of wine, and illustrates the ways in which its history, geography, geology, oenology, arts and commerce have shaped the world’s cultures and landscapes throughout history, from 7000BC to the present day.

A truly international experience, visitors will be guided through the various installations with the help of an innovative personalised headset that dynamically translates the audio content into one of 8 languages. Unique in its off ear design, the headset simultaneously translates while enabling the visitor to remain connected to the soundscape and people around them.

“Our vision was to create a richly textured experience in which visitors can be inspired by wine in all its wonderful complexity, and our aim has been to play with display design and technology to create variety and interest yet remain relevant to the subject. This exhibition is completely audiovisual and multimedia, with sensory elements to surprise, delight, intrigue and educate visitors about the drama, art and craft that surrounds wine”.  – Roger Mann, creative director.



Photos by Nick Guttridge

WW1 Centenary Exhibition
Melbourne Museum, Australia
April - October 2015
DescriptionClientRelated News [2]
Description
A world-first for the IWM, this interactive exhibition toured globally, presenting 350 of the most significant historical artefacts from the IWM’s collections. Casson Mann’s challenge was to condense the story of the First World War, as told in the IWM’s award-winning galleries, into a nimble, yet engaging touring event. The exhibition took shape around a central, twisting, trench-like space, with high, steep walls and dug-out style doors giving into different thematic areas. Visitors discovered intimate objects embedded in showcases along the route; huge projections of the battlefield appearing above, as if over the parapet. An evocative soundscape - tanks, swooping aircraft, distant shells - ensured a powerful and memorable experience for visitors.

Client
IWM London

Related News [2]

Eneko at One Aldwych Restaurant
The first restaurant project for Casson Mann, Eneko at One Aldwych...
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Eneko at One Aldwych
One Aldwych unveils exciting new restaurant Eneko at One Aldwych, with interior by award winning design firm Casson Mann
 
The first restaurant project for Casson Mann, Eneko at One Aldwych offered a fascinating opportunity to develop chef Eneko Atxa’s dialogue with the dynamics of London.
 
A new venture between independent luxury hotel One Aldwych and Michelin starred chef Eneko Atxa, Casson Mann was asked to draw on its award winning storytelling expertise to craft an interior dialogue between Basque and London cultures.
 
With 3 Michelin stars for Azurmendi in Bilbao, chef Eneko Atxa is ranked 19th in the world, yet the brief for Eneko at One Aldwych was to focus on convivial enjoyment rather than formal occasions, and create a relaxed, warm and inviting space, that guests will want to make their own. 
 
A unique coming together of Basque and London culture, Casson Mann’s team was inspired by Bruce Palling’s eloquent description of Eneko’s approach, and the phrase “allowing the ingredients to always express their core characteristics” informed the design concept. In this context, the team sought to tell the story of Eneko’s approach to contemporary Basque cuisine, as informed by his commitment to local ingredients, and passion for the heritage and traditions of the region.
 
The first restaurant project for Casson Mann, Eneko at One Aldwych offered a fascinating opportunity to develop Eneko’s dialogue with the dynamics of London.
 
Having honed their craft on the front line of visitor engagement spaces, Casson Mann’s appreciation of the relationship between sensory delight, spatial narratives, dwell time, desire lines, and immersive experiences led to this richly textured environment. “All our museum experience is about transforming stories into engaging spatial experiences”, explains founder and director Roger Mann. “This has been a similar challenge, albeit with a shift from a direct to a subtle emphasis in the way we link narrative to materials and invite emotional and functional connections”.
 
This narrative, Eneko’s passion for ingredients, flavours, and heritage, is never consciously communicated; it is much more about being felt. The rich sensorial influences of Basque materials and colours have led Casson Mann’s interior concept, with many bespoke elements that immerse the visitor in warmth, texture and comfort.
 
Dedication to authenticity and sense of place inspired the team to source materials from craftsmen in the Basque region: wood, stone and steel, colours and textures all reference the area’s history and culture. And yet, the interpretation of those regional elements within Casson Mann’s bespoke furniture and interior detail is unquestionably contemporary, reflecting the exciting partnership between Eneko and One Aldwych – a creative dialogue between Bilbao and London.
 
Daylight has also been a critically important element of the brief. As the venue is situated below street level, the aim was to maximise the ingress of daylight by creating opportunities for light to enhance the dining experience throughout the day.
 
In the pursuit of light, the interior concept required the space to be completely reconsidered.  The subsequent restructuring included the demolition of an entire floor, revealing the building’s original steel frame columns. With the addition of a smaller ‘floating’ mezzanine, connected to the main entrance and downstairs restaurant by a series of floating staircases, Casson Mann’s design allows daylight to pour into the new bar and restaurant areas, creating a sense of spaciousness that transforms and modernises the venue. And the team’s vast experience of bringing light into awkward exhibition spaces delivered a clever system of hidden wall lights that augment and enhance the warmth, texture and quality of light throughout the day, reflecting changing emotional connections to the space, facilitating and inspiring moods appropriate to the dining experience.

The Inspiration behind E@1A
Roger Mann's reveals the inspiration behind the design of Eneko at One Aldwych...
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Eneko at One Aldwych
Design Notes
Roger Mann, co founder and director of Casson Mann.
 
On inspiration
I was inspired by Bruce Palling’s eloquent description of Eneko Atxa’s approach to his craft.
 
Eneko is not an alchemist or slave to scientists or magician’s tricks, but someone who keeps true to the flavours of his ingredients, yet makes you shake your head in disbelief at the harmony and intensity of the experience.  For me, this focus on allowing the ingredients to always express their core characteristics is why Azurmendi has made the impact it has so rapidly. – Bruce Palling, Eneko Atxa Azurmendi
 
 On expertise
All our museum experience is about transforming stories into engaging spatial experiences. It's the same here but with different emphasis. The narrative does not have to be so consciously communicated, it can be much more subconsciously felt, but is achieved with the same design sensibilities: the awareness of how materials, (and how they are finished and experienced) can say so much; about how the use of light is key to creating the right atmosphere, and how the way people move through and inhabit space is key to their engagement with, and ultimately enjoyment of, the whole experience. 
This of course is the key to good interior design, along with a keen attention to detail and the use of colour, but what I think we offer - and what I hugely enjoy - is having honed our craft on the front line of visitor engagement spaces in museums, Eneko At One Aldwych restaurant presents us with a fantastic opportunity to apply our experience to this different challenge.
 
On materiality
Chef Eneko Atxa’s food has been described as being about the core characteristics of the ingredients. For a space in which we want diner's to really engage with this philosophy we have sought to have a similar approach to the use of materials - "truth to materials" is the oft-used phrase. In Eneko At One Aldwych everything should look and feel to be what it is - nothing is pretending to be anything it isn't. The finishing/texture of all the materials should allow tactility to reinforce what the eye is telling you. Wood has to really feel like wood, steel like steel...
We have also been very keen, where possible, to use materials that have a strong connection to the Basque region: particularly wood, steel and stone. there has been a long tradition of steel production and shipbuilding in Bilbao, and there are stone quarries very close by,
 
On wood
The three timbers that are indigenous to the region are oak, pine and chestnut (we are using all three). Our floor is oak and we have a very large feature wall in blackened pine that was inspired by the traditional hand-hewn timber buildings of the region - but we have translated the technique into a CNC production by 3D scanning a hand carved sample. All the tables have chestnut tops locally sourced from a furniture manufacturer in Bilbao. The tops retain their natural irregular edges, grain texture and splits and have been specially treated to resist stains.
 
On steel
The original steel frame of the Edwardian building has been exposed and we have "threaded" through the columns around the perimeter of the space, a sculptural steel 'ribbon' that incorporates banquette seating, waiter stations and a coat cupboard. The steel is 'raw' plate straight from the mill, rolled, cut, welded and clear lacquered to retain its original 'brutality'. The forms have been inspired by the ruggedness of Basque sculptors such as Eduardo Chilida and Jorge Oteiza.
 
On stone
We wanted to line the perimeter walls with textured stone that bring light into the interior spaces (incorporating a banded texture to work with the lighting and stone because the volume of the restaurant space was originally excavated out of the ground). The mezzanine floor and the bar top are white ceramic, and the walls in the wc's are all stone. Only the last is Nero Marquina - the local Basque stone - it wasn't stain resistant enough for the other areas.
 
On colour
The perimeter banquette upholstery - inside the black steel structure - is a montage of different reds in leathers and fabrics and was inspired by changing colour of red chilli peppers as they dry, as seen in the kitchen at Azurmendi, Bilbao.
The staircase that inhabits the light well at the front of the restaurant is clad with polished copper and lined with the dark oak of the floor. The copper is a reference to the copper dome on top of One Aldwych hotel directly above where our stairs are. It is also about creating a 'warm welcome' and a dramatic entrance as it traverses the well, affording fantastic views of the space below, and casting copper coloured 'warm' reflections on the surrounding architecture.
 
On light
Daylight was a critically important element of the brief and the aim was to maximise the ingress of daylight by creating opportunities for light to enhance the dining experience throughout the day. Having restructured the space, to allow natural daylight into the lower dining area, the team’s vast experience of bringing light into awkward exhibition spaces delivered a clever system of hidden wall lights that augment and enhance the warmth, texture and quality of light throughout the day, reflecting changing emotional connections to the space, facilitating and inspiring moods appropriate to the dining experience.
 
On restructuring the space
In the pursuit of light, the interior concept required the space to be completely reconsidered.  The subsequent restructuring included the demolition of an entire floor, revealing the building’s original steel frame columns. With the addition of a smaller ‘floating’ mezzanine, connected to the main entrance and downstairs restaurant by a series of floating staircases, Casson Mann’s design allows daylight to pour into the new bar and restaurant areas, creating a sense of spaciousness that transforms and modernises the venue. 
 

Feature in the Caterer
Eneko at One Aldwych features in this weeks Caterer magazine...
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Eneko at One Aldwych
Eneko at One Aldwych features on a 7 page spread in this weeks The Caterer magazine. Neil Gerrard of The Caterer interviews award-winning chef Eneko Atxa and hotel general manager Kostas Sfaltos.

Below are some stand-out quotes taken from the article:

'Eneko Atxa, owner of the three-Michelin-starred Azurmendi near Bilbao, brings a fun and relaxed version of Basque cuisine to London's One Aldwych.'

"I think its important for Michelin-starred chefs to have more casual restaurants" says Atxa. "For me, what is a great challenge is to go to a city like London, one of the most important cities in the world, and create a new experience but for a lot of people...We can create a fun restaurant where people enjoy food, feel very informal and very relaxed - like they are at a big party."

     'The project hasn't been without its complications. There's no denying that the restaurant's space, in the basement of the building designed by Anglo-French architect Mewes and Davis, is a difficult one. 
     The challenge was to create a modern restaurant space that accommodated a state-of-the-art kitchen and 110 covers while still allowing in as much natural light as possible.
     Sfaltos was disappointed with the reactions of traditional restaurant design firms when confronted with the site. "I engaged with many restaurant designers and the first thing everyone told me was that this was a very difficult space. That negative mindset put me off," says Sfaltos. "People found it difficult to articulate because the restaurant has the shape of the building and part of my objective was to reveal that shape again and to celebrate it."
     Eventually, the hotel enlisted the services of design company Casson Mann. The result is surprisingly light and airy, considering that the main dining room sits not just below street level, but also beneath a mezzanine. A mezzanine existed in during the axis era, but the profile of the new floor has been reduced to allow more light in and to give more head room on the floor below. The staircase, which runs between the entrance and the mezzanine, has been clad in copper, reflecting the light coming in through the windows above.
     However, it is perhaps the steel columns, part of the original Edwardian construction, of which Sfaltos is most proud. Originally encased in concrete and concealed under panels, the hotel and its design team [Casson Mann] has uncovered them once more.'

'These, along with the chestnut tables, chiselled pine walls, large banquettes and Basque artwork, lend the restaurant a clean, modern feel. The kitchen itself is semi-open, set back from the dining room...allowing diners to see the action without being right next to it.'

"With all the limitations that this space had, l think we have overcome them really well, and we have even celebrated some of the abnormalities of the columns rather than trying to hide them. I am so delighted with it and we have made the right choice with the designers," says Sflatos.

Read the full article in this weeks issue: 12-18 August 2016 - here
 

Casson Mann in CLAD
London restaurant uses 'storytelling design' to celebrate Basque culture and cuisine...
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Eneko at One Aldwych
Kim Megson writes about Casson Mann's interiors at Eneko at One Aldwych for CLADnews.

"Exhibition designers Casson Mann have designed a colourful story-filled restaurant for five-star London hotel One Aldwych.

The restaurant, called Eneko, opens on 1 September in the hotel’s former basement.

Museum interior specialists Casson Mann were selected to work on the project, their first restaurant design, because of their storytelling expertise. The brief called for the design to convey the story of its Michelin starred chef, Eneko Atxa, and his Basque heritage.

“All our museum experience is about transforming stories into engaging spatial experiences,” said studio founder and director Roger Mann. “This has been a similar challenge, albeit with a shift from a direct to a subtle emphasis in the way we link narrative to materials and invite emotional and functional connections.”

Eneko’s “passion for ingredients, flavours and heritage” is communicated through use of colour, space, material and texture.

The space has been filled with natural light through the addition of windows, the demolition of an entire floor and the creation of a floating white ceramic mezzanine. The building’s original steel frame columns, newly exposed, have been incorporated into the design scheme. Together with banquette seating framed by raw plate steel and a series of floating copper-clad staircases, the result is a subtle reference to Bilbao's industrial heritage.

Other Basque allusions are made from the use of materials, including wood and stone, sourced from craftsmen in the region. References to food and flavours are more subtle, with the banquette upholstery made from leather in different shades of red to reference the changing colour of red chilli peppers that are hanged in the kitchens of Bilbao.

Casson Mann have previously referenced fine dining with their design for cultural wine centre La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux.

Their next big project will be the exhibition galleries for Snøhetta’s forthcoming Lascaux IV Caves Museum in France, which includes the recreation of the caves and their 10,000-year-old paintings."

Read the full article here.

Finalist for SBID Awards 2016
In the Restaurant Design category for Eneko at One Aldwych...
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Eneko at One Aldwych
Casson Mann have been shortlisted in the Restaurant Design category of this year’s SBID International Design Awards.

Eneko at One Aldwych has been selected as one of the qualifying projects by a technical panel of judges in the first stage of the process. The public are now invited to cast their votes for their favourite entries at http://www.sbidawards.com, as their votes will be counted towards the overall results.

To vote for Eneko at One Aldwych in the Restaurant Design category - please click here.

SBID has firmly established this annual occasion as one of the most prestigious recognitions of design excellence in the interior design industry.

The 14 categories range from best Healthcare Design, Retail Design and Intelligent Design to best KBB Project, Public Space and Visualisation. The closing date for the public voting will be on Friday 16 September 2016 at 5.30pm GMT.

Winners will be announced and awarded with the crystal SBID International Design Awards 2016 trophy at the official ceremony, held at The Dorchester hotel London on Friday 25 November 2016. An overall winner Award will also be awarded to the project that comes out on the top after an amalgamation of the judge’s choices and the public votes have been considered.

VIPs and our distinguished panel of sponsors including ABB Group, Natuzzi Italia, Maison & Objet, Wools of New Zealand, and Sans Souci Glass Deco will be invited to our annual afternoon tea at the House of Lords in November 2016.
 
All of the winners and finalists will be featured in The Global Interior Design 2016 coffee table book.

The judges this year included new additions Marek Reichman Creative Director of Aston Martin, Richard Lloyd, Executive Director at Which? to our revered selection of international industry leaders:
Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes at BBC Radio 2 & 6; Sir Michael Dixon, Director at the National History Museum, London; Kevin Mau, Senior Creative Director at The Boeing Company; Jane Preston, Facilities Manager UK, Real Estate & Workplace Services at Google; David Lewis, Managing Director of Sunseeker London; Carolina Calzada, Managing Director at Colour Hive; Patrick Taylor, Managing Director of Taylist Media; Ben McOwen Wilson, Director of Content Partnerships at YouTube.

A distinguished panel of sponsors include ABB Group, Natuzzi Italia, Maison & Objet, Wools of New Zealand, and Sans Souci Glass Deco just to name a few!

To see more on the finalists, visit http://www.sbidawards.com
 

The Telegraph's New Openings
Three Michelin-starred Basque chef Eneko Atxa comes to London...
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Eneko at One Aldwych
Three Michelin-starred Basque chef Eneko Atxa comes to London with Eneko at One Aldwych

What’s new? And so, after 19 years, we bid farewell to Axis at Covent Garden luxury boutique hotel One Aldwych, to welcome Basque culinary star Eneko Atxa into the now dramatically reconfigured basement space.

Behind the scenes:  He may not yet be (nor ever be) a household name here, but in lofty food circles, Basque chef Eneko Atxa of Bilbao’s Restaurant Azurmendi is held as one of the Basque Country’s, nay the world’s, culinary elite with three Michelin stars to his name since 2012. His 11-year-old restaurant has quietly been climbing its way up the rankings, this year reaching World’s 50 Best list. One Aldwych’s General Manager Kostas Sfaltos has spent the last two and a half years making the project happen.

The concept: Eneko at One Aldwych sees Atxa in unbuttoned mode, away from his modernist glass box high in the hills outside Bilbao. Here, he touts a "diffusion" line of contemporary Basque food and wine (including his winemaker uncle Gorka Izagirre’s own Txacoli) fit for a restaurant megacity. Design firm Casson Mann, for their first restaurant project, have done an impressive job reimagining the subterranean dining room in this grand Edwardian building (built in 1907 as the headquarters). Notably, they’ve introduced a gleaming copper staircase from street-level to mezzanine ‒ talk about making an entrance ‒ and revealed and restored the original steel columns. Materials are strong and tactile: wood, steel, stone, leather – the antithesis of the dominant "girlie" aesthetic in London restaurants. The room is relaxed yet theatrical, each curvy booth spotlit like a stage with a backdrop of sculptural flowers.

Article written by Hilary Armstrong for The Telegraph. Read the full article here

Finalist for SBID Awards 2016
In the Public Space Category for La Cité du Vin Exhibition
View Project
La Cité du Vin
Casson Mann have been shortlisted in the Public Space category of this year’s SBID International Design Awards. 

La Cité du Vin Exhibition has been selected as one of the qualifying projects by a technical panel of judges in the first stage of the process. The public are now invited to cast their votes for their favourite entries at http://www.sbidawards.com, as their votes will be counted towards the overall results.

To vote for La Citeé du Vin in the Public Space category - please click here.

SBID has firmly established this annual occasion as one of the most prestigious recognitions of design excellence in the interior design industry.

The 14 categories range from best Healthcare Design, Retail Design and Intelligent Design to best KBB Project, Public Space and Visualisation. The closing date for the public voting will be on Friday 16 September 2016 at 5.30pm GMT.
Winners will be announced and awarded with the crystal SBID International Design Awards 2016 trophy at the official ceremony, held at The Dorchester hotel London on Friday 25 November 2016. An overall winner Award will also be awarded to the project that comes out on the top after an amalgamation of the judge’s choices and the public votes have been considered.
VIPs and our distinguished panel of sponsors including ABB Group, Natuzzi Italia, Maison & Objet, Wools of New Zealand, and Sans Souci Glass Deco will be invited to our annual afternoon tea at the House of Lords in November 2016.
All of the winners and finalists will be featured in The Global Interior Design  coffee table book.

The judges this year included new additions Marek Reichman Creative Director of Aston Martin, Richard Lloyd, Executive Director at Which? to our revered selection of international industry leaders:
Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes at BBC Radio 2 & 6; Sir Michael Dixon, Director at the National History Museum, London; Kevin Mau, Senior Creative Director at The Boeing Company; Jane Preston, Facilities Manager UK, Real Estate & Workplace Services at Google; David Lewis, Managing Director of Sunseeker London; Carolina Calzada, Managing Director at Colour Hive; Patrick Taylor, Managing Director of Taylist Media; Ben McOwen Wilson, Director of Content Partnerships at YouTube.
A distinguished panel of sponsors include ABB Group, Natuzzi Italia, Maison & Objet, Wools of New Zealand, and Sans Souci Glass Deco just to name a few!

To see more on the finalists, visit http://www.sbidawards.com