City of New Westminster
New Westminster, BC
From an outmoded and overlooked facility, the New Westminster Museum & Archives are moving into a new multi-use civic building in the heart of New West's historic core. PUBLIC has been engaged to design the complete interior, including cases and exhibit-elements, for the Museum which focusses on the history of New Westminster. Under the curatorial direction of Museum staff, our team helped to shape their chronological storyline into a compelling aesthetic experience for the visitor which would support rich programming opportunities into the future. Using the Museum's outstanding photographic collection, we created a visual snapshot of the history of the City. This story can be experienced at a glance from significant viewpoints in the Museum space—both looking forward and back in time—from First Nations settlement, to the future of the City area, and back again.
Further to the theme of creating views and thematic connections, we have developed access points specific to children. Scaled-down tunnels through museum elements provide "secret" exhibit elements for children embedded within the larger storyline. Export to the world at large is a secondary topic featured in evocative means such as an entire wall of fur, another of gold and the relationship of the City, BC's original capital, to the expansion of the British Empire in its heyday.