In September, The Box opened its doors to visitors allowing audiences to explore the newest cultural destination for Plymouth and the South West, marking the end of a 22-month journey for fit-out specialist The Hub.
The project saw its team deliver extensive works throughout the new cultural centre, featuring ten galleries that take visitors on a journey through Plymouth’s history.
Not only a figurehead for the South West, The Box showcases talent from across the British museum industry. World renowned designers Event Communications, specialist fit-out contractor The Hub, and experts in audio visual, graphics, electrical and lighting, interactives and models all played a part in delivering the venue.
As principal contractor The Hub developed innovative displays integrating different media to create spectacular structures from Woolly Mammoths to tales of seafaring Plymothians. Working in partnership with Plymouth City Council and Event Communications, The Hub brought together a team of specialists to develop and deliver object-rich and interactive experiences, to inspire audiences and create pride in their community.
“One of the pillars of vision of The Box was to always appoint the best professional team in the world. The Hub – who installed our exhibitions – are just that not only a first-class team but are some of the nicest people I have ever worked with,” says David Draffan, service director for economic development at Plymouth City Council.
Key displays include ‘Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy’, an exhibition exploring the four hundredth anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to America in 1620. Showcasing the cultural, demographic and personal legacies of the story of its passengers, the exhibition features a striking large-scale ship interactive, manufactured by The Hub’s Joinery division.
The Media Lab gallery showcases technologies, processes and people that have shaped the South West’s film and photographic heritage, with a mock TV studio allowing visitors to step behind the camera and present the news.
Not only a museum for the residents of Plymouth but also a centre that appeals to international visitors; one of the other main aims of The Box is to help bring a high level of tourism to the city, providing the local community with opportunities for social and economic growth. Although the pandemic has meant that The Box has had to open with a reduced visitor capacity, the amount of positive feedback and national and international press coverage bodes well for the future.
Working with Plymouth City Council, residents and agencies were given exclusive opportunities to train and learn about roles within the specialist fit-out industry while The Box was under construction, whilst also seeing behind the scenes.
Opening on The Hub’s 15th anniversary year, this momentous museum, gallery and archive is not only a landmark for the UK’s cultural sector but symbolises the growth and position of The Hub as a market leader. The company’s team is incredibly proud of the transformation that has taken place at The Box and is delighted to see how the positive reaction the city and visitors from afar have reacted to this exciting new venue so far.