Tandem Design

King John's Castle

Visitor Experience

King John's Castle


“You have given us back our story, our castle and a reason to be proud of it again”
— King’s Island Residents Group —

Tandem was the lead for a wider design team responsible for the interpretative refit at King John's castle.

The rich and epic quality of the castle’s story was conveyed through a number of interpretive delivery mechanisms. From graphic panels to models, setworks, hands-on and electronic interactives, we drew on our multi-disciplinary experience to set the bar high for innovative interpretation, demonstrating our creative approach to designing exhibitions with learning as a primary design ethos.

We collaborated with the wider design team on the design and development of the construction works and architectural designs being produced. 

We designed every component of the exhibition architecture including plinths, artefact displays, theatre spaces and graphic walls. We produced sketches and CAD drawings of each space and worked with the architect to ensure our vision was compatible with the space available.

Our graphic design background is central to our interpretive approach. We developed a visual language that captures the imagination, and supports and complements the exhibition themes. 

Central to our spatial and graphic design process was identifying or creating key sight lines within each gallery where major artefact displays and/or large-scale graphics could be placed, and matching these with central or pivotal moments within the exhibition narrative.

We briefed, procured and art-directed
AV content production to ensure key learning outcomes were met, and that the user interfaces met with our design and accessibility standards.

We supported the client in procurement of specialist contractors and oversaw stringent management of costs – as a result of the demands of the building upgrade on the available budget, we successfully value engineered the interpretive fit-out budget by €1m without compromising quality.

We worked closely with the client, site archaeologist and the National Museum of Ireland to devise a comprehensive display strategy that satisfied their conservation and security requirements, and secure an unprecedented loan from the NMI of a number of artefacts excavated on site for display in the exhibition.

The visual impact of our designs is a core consideration and influences our use of colour, form, images and typography to create a unified design scheme.

IDI Design Awards 2013
King John’s Castle, Commended