Newton’s Place

Core delivered the exhibition design and fit-out of Newton’s Place, a vibrant and dynamic new community hub for Newton Abbot that combines museum, civic and social functions within a former church building.

Core worked with the Newton Abbot museum team to create an interpretation plan, public consultation programme and exhibition design supporting a successful NLHF bid to relocate their museum to a central town centre location, increasing engagement and accessibility with the collections for local residents.

The exhibition space is packed full of hands-on interactives, tactile displays, wall graphics and setworks featuring objects in cases and on open display. We used high-res scans of the museum’s amazing railway archive media to create an animated touchscreen where visitors can browse previously unseen film footage, photographs and art. We also developed a client-updatable database for the museum’s vast photographic and oral archives, allowing visitors to freely access and explore the museum’s collections.

A significant part of the museum is the collection of Great Western Railway history, including the social history of the GWR and its influence on the town and the people of Newton Abbot. To acknowledge this history, we designed a suspended model train track to engage visitors’ imaginations. We coordinated with structural engineers to design displays of some particularly large items including a working signal box and an original section of Brunel’s atmospheric railway.

Core created an accessible museum store to demystify the process of collection management and handling. Flexible, modular displays are easy to use, allowing the museum to rotate collections and clear space for community events and temporary exhibitions. Visitor flow and wayfinding was carefully considered to draw all visitors through the museum, with interpretation infused throughout the building, including retail and multi-use areas. We even produced a range of appropriate interpretation for the cafe, so that the heritage experience is embedded throughout the spaces.