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A Life's Work

The birthplace of Andrew Carnegie. the life story of a man who rose from humble beginnings to become the richest man in the world, and the father of modern philanthropy

  • inca cases at the carnegie museum

Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum, located in the heritage quarter of his hometown of Dunfermline in Scotland, has recently undergone a major refurbishment.

Equal Studio was appointed by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust to redesign the present museum, opening in March 2009.

Andrew Carnegie was in his time the richest man in the world and with the fortune he made from business in America, he turned to philanthropy and interests in education and the arts.

The Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum is an impressive double-height building commissioned by his wife as a memorial after his death, that adjoins the small cottage where he was born.

For the last 25 years the main gallery has been without any natural light. One of Equal's first aims was to get daylight back into the building as its architect James Shearer originally intended in 1925. To ensure achieving the required lux levels for the objects, a 'stained glass' graphic application depicting high points in Andrew Carnegie's life has been used to balance light entering the building and being backlit, can be viewed from the outside at night.

A more involving approach has been implemented to tell the story of Andrew Carnegie's life and the role of philanthropy today through integrating new interactive communication media (appealing to a more varied audience) with the eclectic objects that form the museum collection.

Having reviewed the museum's objects and their existing showcases, ClickNetherfield were appointed to design and install a suite of new cases to house this valuable collection under appropriate environmental conditions.

One particularly complex challenge that arose during the design development stage was to seamlessly incorporate a touch-screen interactive unit inside a showcase ensuring that all heat generated from the equipment was removed. The showcase was also designed to allow the future removal of the unit should it no longer be required. The collaboration between 3D designer, AV hardware supplier and showcase manufacturer, was successfully managed by Grant Hawthorne, Senior Project Manager at ClickNetherfield.

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Exhibition fact file

What's Inside

Find out about life in 19th century Dunfermline and discover how Andrew Carnegie became the richest man in the world and father of modern philanthropy.

Museum

Carnegie Birthplace Museum, Dunfermline

Date

2009

Design

Equal Studio

Cases Used

Inca