National Museums Scotland


The new 200m2 gallery was to designed as part of the final phase of a £75m refurbishment of the Edinburgh museum. Abound’s appointment followed our successful completion of a major artworking project for the previous redevelopment phase (Master Plan 3), in 2016.

The gallery provides an insight into the breadth of National Museum Scotland’s outstanding ceramic collection. It celebrates the creativity that is reflected in so many ceramic pieces from across the world and over a broad time period, and introduces the use of ceramics in scientific and technological applications from 19th century false teeth to thermal barrier coatings for rockets or high-tech racing car brakes.

The space allocated to the exhibition presented a number of design and technical challenges. One of these was that the space was split between a balcony and a side gallery, both being long and narrow. Therefore, uniting these as one coherent exhibition was challenging, not least as visitors can enter the space from either end.

Abound’s scope of work included:

  • surveying the galley and creating a 3D model
  • participating in workshop sessions with curators and museum educators
  • designing the gallery layout, taking into account visitor flow
  • refining object selection and case layouts
  • artworking
  • producing detailed specifications and drawings for production