Discover Bucks Museum, a tale of Buckinghamshire
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Discover Bucks Museum, a tale of Buckinghamshire

The new exhibit creates an itinerary through five galleries dedicated to local history and culture, aimed at engaging visitors and strengthening the relationship between people and the area

Gibson Thornley Architects

Discover Bucks Museum, a tale of Buckinghamshire
By Editorial Staff -

What animals roamed the lands of Buckinghamshire 200 million years ago? What people inhabited the area? What were their customs and traditions over the centuries, up to the present day? What did the natural landscape, geology, and flora look like?

All these questions can be answered by visiting the Discover Bucks Museum, in the English city of Aylesbury. The recent redesign of Discover Bucks Museums by Gibson Thornley Architects, in collaboration with the graphic design studio BOB Design, has reorganized the 250-square-meter exhibition space with a narrative spanning five exposition galleries with a contemporary and evocative style. 


Discover Bucks Museum, a tale in five galleries

Discover Bucks Museum - Gibson Thornley Architects © Luke Hayes, courtesy of Gibson Thornley Architects and BOB Design

Housed within a historic building of Ayslebury, protected as a Grade II Listed Building for its architectural value, the museum encompasses 200 million years of history with artifacts collected in the area by the institution over the past 150 years. The designers from Gibson Thornley Architects, together with the graphic designer from BOB Design and the design advisor Richard Woods of Urban Fabric, worked closely with curators and other museum stakeholders to create a rich and informative tale of the local history through immersive and engaging displays.

The design of the exhibits aimed to create sweeping views and perspectives through the rooms and to promote visitors’ independent exploration and discovery of the exposition route. Every gallery has its own color that identifies the narrative itinerary and facilitates the reading of the space. The graphics and architecture work closely together in a dialogue that narrates the space, filling in the gaps while leaving room for imagination.

The artifacts and historical objects have been brought to life in their display cases thanks to drawings and infographics that fill out the outlines. The lighting complements the artwork, creating accents of light and points of shadow that create a suggestive atmosphere. Interactive screens, projections, and illuminated displays bring to life a story composed in layers that helps one understand the place’s history, people, nature, and culture.


A point of reference for the territory

Discover Bucks Museum - Gibson Thornley Architects © Luke Hayes, courtesy of Gibson Thornley Architects and BOB Design

The Discover Bucks Museum space has been designed to host temporary exhibitions and events, in addition to the permanent collections, supporting the institution’s role as a point of reference not just for tourists but also for the local community. Through discovery and deeper understanding of their origins, community members can build a stronger relationship with the territory

“The United Kingdom has some of the biggest museums in the world, but it is also fundamental that regional museums are given the same care and attention as the national ones, so they serve as a place of inspiration and learning for all. Working with BOB Design, our objective was to construct a journey that celebrates the history and culture of Buckinghamshire and encourage visitors to interact with the expositions,” stated Matt Thornley, director and co-founder of Gibson Thornley Architects.

>>> Learn about Studio Modijefsky’s renovation of the Museum Arnhem


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Location: Aylesbury, UK
Completion: 2023
Area: 250 m2
Client: Bucks County Museum Trust
Exhibition Design: Gibson Thornley Architects

Client Design Advisor
: Richard Woods, Urban Fabric
Graphic Design: BOB Design
Lighting Design: DHA Designs
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer: P3R + Fusion
AV Design: Media Powerhouse + Heritage Interactive
Project Manager: Focus Consultants

Photography by Luke Hayes / Thomas Adank, courtesy of Gibson Thornley Architects and BOB Design

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