Each year, hundreds of museums are newly established all around the world. They are emerging hubs for connecting people and cultures. More and more professionals like curators, designers, conservators, journalists, etc. are attracted to this industry.How to cater display case design to museum’s interior style
Museums are tangible platforms and educational bases to contain and exhibit historical, natural and artistic objects. Layout of museums exerts great influence on visitor experience. A successful interior design reveals cultural characteristics, creates appealing atmosphere, and accents the exhibits, impressing visitors in every aspect. Display case, the intimate container of objects also plays an important roll in museum layout.
Royal Brunei Islamic Museum
Museum display case is part of interior design, but reflects a distinct aspect. The interior embodies the aesthetic of a museum, while display cases focus more on usability.
The first concern of museum display case design is safety. Solid structure and pollute free materials must be applied to offer effective protection over exhibits. Thus it places great challenge to designers who ask for slender figures. Metal frames and heavy plinths are reliable basement for display cases, but they are no good friend to modern interior styles like minimalism. While large proportion usage of glass facets reduces visual volume of display cases and deliver an air of lightness, the structures of glass-dominant display cases should be carefully studied to attain stable fixation. Colors are also helpful in achieving ideal visual effect. Painted in white, heavy frames may also seem to “lose weight” to the audience.
Bank Indonesia Museum( Coins and notes from pre-colonial era. In the 14th century)
Let alone visual tricks above, the objects inside are real stars who decides the layout of display cases. Now, we will discuss some classic display cases and their best applications.
I. Freestanding display cases often come in the form of a tall cubic glass hood standing on a robust steel plinth, which allows objects to be viewed from all perspectives. Thus they are the best choice for displaying center pieces of an exhibition.
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha(ceramics)
II. In built-in wall cases, 5 sides of the case are fitted against walls, provides high-security display areas to display hanging flat objects like paintings, carpets, garments,etc.
The Palace Museum( Imperial ceramics of Qing dynasty)
III. Table top display cases are the perfect choice to present small objects and books. Clear glass hood provides perfect protection while allows close observation from the visitors. They are widely used in museums, libraries, and archives.
IV. Built along the wall, wall display cases introduce the most economical way to make use of the showroom. And their spacious display room is perfect for cluster exhibitions.
Ancient China, National Museum Of China( Portraits of Emperor Kangxi and Emperor Qianlong in imperial robe)
V. Storage system display cases combine the functions of display and storage. Objects are stored in locked drawers with clear covers, which can be drawn out for appreciation. They are ideal for displaying series of objects in limited space.
National Gallery Singapore(public collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art)
Apart from visible structures, manufacturers are developing novel opening access techniques to promote usability of display cases. A perfect example is the Automatic Diagonal open freestanding case developed by Relicase:
The award-winning Automatic Diagonal open freestanding case introduced a unique way to open automatically and safely. The optimal opening and stable structure greatly facilitates exhibition handling and reduces the vibration to exhibits.
Automatic Diagonal open freestanding case is opened diagonally through high-precision synchronization technology, with opening capacity on the front and back both greater than 90%. The actuators are driven by high-precision synchronization device, which promises an accurate and smooth opening. When driven by automatic actuators, the opposing units formed by adjacent glass panels separate in the diagonal directions, leaving one opening on the front and another in the back. The double-opening structure allows access from both directions simultaneously, which makes it optimal for handling of exhibits that are extremely heavy or delicate.