Working with Cultural Innovations to provide scheme designs for a new museum adjacent to the Gulf, this fast paced project required imagination as the client owned no objects. Hand sketches of plans, sections and elevations of the galleries were given direct to a 3d visualiser. Working to the content writer’s brief, with a budget of circa £30m, and taxidermy no real option, Leigh Cain Creative designed the species layouts, plinths, models and interactives, sculptures and immersive spaces for Arabian Skies, Arabian Landscape, Arabian Seas, and the Kuwaiti war.
A Tropical Rainforest was designed to contain a mix of live and model trees, plants and wildlife, with audio of canopy living birds and mammals.
Leigh Cain Creative also designed a fully operational Aquarium to house world-wide live species.
Another gallery displayed Extreme Landscapes; immersive, reflective pearl-like pods that tell stories of Antarctica, Desert, Caves and Deep sea.
Leigh Cain Creative designed the interiors, ramps, and overall plan, using cleverly phased lighting to represent dawn and dusk. AV, interactives, graphics, and in one pod real ice were used to help explain extreme conditions in Antarctica.
Leigh Cain Creative designed an introductory suspended installation for the Biodiversity Gallery, based on the explosion and diversity of species. With interactives on the circular plinth and a concave reflective dish, visitors have perimeter seating to lean back and view the 12m diameter installation from below. From this sphere flows a line of birds in flight and swimming species to lead visitors into the main gallery. A further twelve organically shaped plinths display the models, graphics and interactives of most of the animal kingdom. Finishes are treated plywood and stone.
CI asked Leigh to join us to design a Natural History Museum in Kuwait as she has great powers of imagination and quick thinking. The project had an extremely short programme and needed first pass ideas that were appropriate to the cultural sensitivities of the Gulf. Leigh understands this with her previous experience of Middle East projects and she created some very exciting ideas.
Andrew Wood Walker, Head of Design, Cultural Innovations
Images © Cultural Innovations. Renders by Alex Spyropoulos