Exhibits were been designed by hsd and form the first phase of a site-wide historical interpretation scheme for the Cathedral as part of its Peterborough 900 development project.  hsd will complete additional interpretation within the Cathedral grounds and enhanced interpretation inside the Cathedral at the end of 2016.

The Dean and Chapter appointed hsd back in 2012 to design and deliver a range of exhibition and interpretation developments to the Cathedral as part of a wider project supported by the HLF, entitled Peterborough Cathedral 900 “Letting it speak for itself ”.

Since then hsd has been working with the Cathedral’s team to develop interpretive design proposals to improve the visitor experience on the historic city centre site. Exhibits have been placed throughout the Cathedral with new object displays in the Treasury as well as in the completed the new Visitor and Learning Centre. Newly designed exterior interpretation, signage and wayfinding will also improve visitor understanding and aid circulation on site.

Virginia Petrie, Senior Project Designer at hsd, said it was great that parts of the Peterborough 900 campaign were now open for the public to visit and said it had been a pleasure working with the Cathedral team and was looking forward to completing the project.

“Part of the HLF criteria for Peterborough 900 has been centred around widening audience profiles, supporting family learning and injecting moments of ‘fun’ into the visitor experience,” she said. “During the design phases, we have incorporated these requirements, also acknowledging the Cathedral’s concerns that the fabric of the building, key narratives and sense of Christian worship are respected and shared with all visitors.”

Following a successful HLF Round 2 application, hsd was responsible for developing and coordinating interpretation to ensure the successful integration of the key themes of People, Place and Worship into the design solutions.

“It is wonderful to see the new Visitor and Learning Centre completed and open to visitors,” said the Very Revd Charles Taylor, Dean of Peterborough. “We hope that people of all ages and backgrounds will find it a welcoming place that enriches their visit to our magnificent Cathedral. We are enormously grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and all those who have enabled us to bring this project to fruition.”

hsd’s communication strategy for Peterborough Cathedral combined new media solutions including a touch tables layered with interpretive graphic and object displays. All media has been designed to have the lightest touch on the Cathedral’s fabric and a subtle visual impact. Flexibility in the design approach allows the exhibits to adapt to the daily rhythm of a working church.

hsd has recently completed exhibitions at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre and displays for Magna Carta: Spirit of Justice, Power of Words at Salisbury Cathedral, UK. We’re currently also working on several exciting international projects in Canada, the Middle East and the USA, where we recently opened two new galleries at the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History in Washington DC and are now working on completing four more this year.

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