Delivering distinction for a five-star museum in the heart of Stirling Castle

PLB was the go-to partner for Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum when it wanted to overhaul its exhibition, showcasing the remarkable tales of Scotland’s esteemed Highlands Regiment.

However, the museum faced significant challenges. Its centuries-old structure and location within Stirling Castle meant the stonework needed to be treated with the utmost care. Being housed within one of Scotland’s oldest, most historic and architecturally significant buildings presented numerous logistical obstacles. Careful handling was required in order to preserve its integrity.

Thankfully, our extensive experience within scheduled monuments, historic buildings and live visitor environments ensured we were the perfect partnership choice.

Bringing the story to life

We teamed up with specialist heritage conservation architects, structural technologists and services engineers to coordinate a full design team with a focus on constant collaboration to drive all partnerships.

Additionally, approval from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) was required, to make sure the final scheme met their aspirations for an exemplar project that would be the first to be ratified by the Scottish Parliament (Ref SMC-STG-001).

Our work on this prestigious exhibition included:

  • Interpretive planning, to develop all the themes, messages and military stories that the museum wanted to convey to visitors
  • Exhibition design, to create new ways to open up exhibition spaces and improve visitor circulation
  • Graphic design, to bring together all the visual elements of the museum using references from historic archives
  • Lighting design, to create the correct environment, both for the preservation of artefacts and to achieve the right ambiance for visitors
  • Accessibility and inclusion, to recognise the wide-ranging castle audience, and ensure all visitors are comfortable, regardless of age, ability, background, or visual or hearing impairment
  • Sustainability, working closely with architects to minimise the environmental impact of the museum

The Chairman of the Museum Trust, Colonel (Retd) A K M Miller CBE, told us, “From a design perspective, this redevelopment was one of the most complex tasks imaginable. The PLB team came up with engaging ideas to ensure the story attracted a broad audience. Their commitment to deliver what we wanted over five years was commendable. They can justly celebrate the museum’s recent five star Visit Scotland award.”

Another outstanding success

It was a pleasure and an honour to be appointed as the lead contractor to bring this project to life. From first principles to final delivery, we knew we had to provide a visitor experience of international quality for this five-star, award-winning museum. And that’s exactly what we did, telling the fascinating story of the regiment through objects, images and new media across a series of themed rooms.

Why not go along and see for yourself? Entry to the museum is free with a Stirling Castle ticket, and you’ll see history come to life through themed stories exploring Scottish antiquity, culture and pageantry.

This museum is one of the best I have ever seen

Comment from a visitor to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum

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