The Heritage Hub at Carnlough Town Hall
Mid & East Antrim Borough Council
To encourage visitors to enjoy exploring the Antrim Coast and Glens we were asked to develop a sustainable gateway hub in Carnlough Town Hall to showcase the area’s significant industrial and natural heritage.
The Antrim Coast and Glens encompass a wide variety of sites, including railway infrastructure, mines, mills, quarries, bridges and ports, all are of national significance. Together they represent a broad range of activity within a small area over a sustained period.
As the Hub is housed within the historic Town Hall the interpretation needed to be respectful of its setting and, at the same time, increase the building’s ability to function as a purposeful public and community space.
A challenge was to accommodate so many stories within a relatively compact interior. Interpretation was designed with flexibility in mind. Hinged panels can be ‘closed’ flush to the wall when more floor space is required and nesting, moveable plinths, featuring large cut out illustrations, can be ‘put away’, slotted together within a large frame at one end of the room to make an attractive backdrop diorama for events.
Hands-on interactive elements are incorporated into the moveable plinths: stone samples help interpret local geology and rubbings provide fun activities for visiting children. Graphicised blinds at the windows carry interesting but non-essential content.
Tandem developed the brand identity for the visitor experience and prepared a detailed brief for the producers of a film shown in the space. We also provided content for a microsite containing relevant and engaging web content and learning resources targeted at primary school children.
Thoughfully combining a flexible approach with interactivity and multi-facetted content, the Heritage Hub at Carnlough Town Hall was designed to stimulate deeper engagement with the stories, history and heritage that helped shape the region.