If you’ve visited the Museum recently, you’ll have noticed that we’re currently undertaking an extensive refurbishment of the foyer, which will incorporate a new Shop and Box Office, electronic Welcome Wall, Games Lounge and wayfinding areas, and culminate in a more effective flow of people and navigation through the building. These improvements have a combined cost of almost £400,000, and are due for completion next month.
So what has been achieved thus far? I spoke to Project Manager Nick Townend, and got quick report on the project’s development, along with some images of the work in progress.
The fitting of the new Shop/Box Office area is well under way – the Box Office desk is up, power and flooring is installed, and merchandising units are almost ready to be racked with the souvenirs, books and gifts which are currently residing in the temporary Shop on level one, outside the Cubby Broccoli Cinema.
The former home of the Museum’s Box Office will see the installation of a Welcome Wall, to be utilised as an electronic orientation and information screen – an eye-catching addition to welcome visitors as they enter the building. It should also assist in providing better orientation around the Museum!
Finally, the most exciting metamorphosis will see the former Shop changing into our all-new Games Lounge. The existing shop fittings have been stripped out, and work is progressing well towards this brand new gallery which will let visitors play their way through the history of videogames, including titles such as Pong, Frogger and Street Fighter 2.
You may have spotted our new eye-catching graphics on the front window. Freezing temperatures, meant that we were unable to display the graphics until last week but now the outside of the Museum has begun to resemble a giant game of Space Invaders, which should certainly draw some attention. It looks fantastic!
As for content, the last of he arcade games have now arrived onsite ready for the Games Lounge (more on this soon). Electronic games are a vital element of this digital age, and certainly part of the Museum’s focus is on the expansion of new media forms, but the arrival of the Games Lounge also coincides nicely with Immersion, the Exhibition of work by Robbie Cooper, which explores our exposure to contemporary media, including video games and online virtual worlds (opens Friday 12th March).
We’ll cover more of the re-development soon, especially concerning the unveiling of the new Games Lounge - your chance to immerse yourself in the world of retro arcade games.