To celebrate the past 400 years of mathematics' relationship with human civilisation, The Science Museum has opened a gallery on Mathematics: The Winton Gallery in London. The new gallery has specially designed lighting, delivered by professional services firm Arup.
The Science Museum was founded in 1857 and has grown to become one of the capital’s largest attractions, with today more than 3.3 million visitors per year. The museum boasts eight galleries, providing guests with access to around 300,000 items owned by the museum's proprietors, The Science Museum Group.
The museum recently added a new gallery, the Mathematics: The Winton Gallery. The gallery explores humanity’s ingenuity in the field of mathematics over the past 400 years, exploring how mathematics, through its various applications, has come to shape large tracts of human civilisation. The gallery will house a variety of artefacts, tools and hand-held instruments – some of which date back to the renaissance.
The Science Museum Group commissioned Arup to provide engineering- and lighting design for the gallery. The work was focused on creating a ‘visitor experience’, connecting the gallery’s theme around mathematics. The lighting design depicts turbulence and flow lines, while, for specific artefacts, such as the 1929 Handley Page aircraft, a lighting scheme creates the appearance of motion as it follows the aerodynamic field of the plane.
“The Science Museum has set out on a journey to create a visitor experience which is both imaginative and informative. This amazing space has been created by wonderfully talented architects and engineers and demonstrates the ‘the beauty of maths’, which is fundamental to both our professions. The engineering behind these spaces is part of a far bigger story", explains Andy Lerpiniere, Associate Director at Arup.
The engineering and consulting firm is also working on the Wonderlab Gallery at the museum. Past projects by the firm in the arts sector include the redevelopment of the San Diego Natural History Museum in the US and the delivery of a lighting design for the Voorlinden Museum of contemporary art in Wassenaar, the Netherlands.