Following a tour of conservation work on the ceiling of the East Baths we are starting to get excited about the end results. As the project moves into a new phase of development we talk to the people who will shape the final look and feel of the East Baths, exhibition design company Event Communications.

1 April 2017

Tell us a bit about Event as a company?

Event is the leading experience design agency in Europe, recognised internationally for its consistent ingenuity, design and storytelling excellence and exemplary project management. We produce masterplans for museums, heritage attractions, cultural quarters as well as brand and corporate experiences. We create interpretive and interactive design concepts, along with full technical specification and creative direction of permanent and temporary exhibitions. We provide integrated programme and cost management for many of the world’s largest experience projects. A key to our success is the integrated way we work with clients to understand their brief and realise their ambitions.

What is your role within the East Baths?

I work as an Interpreter for Event, the exhibition designers for the East Baths – I work as an intermediary between the designers and the curators to ensure the design best communicates the intent of the Museum and aligns with the messages and historical authenticity of the rest of the Roman Baths site.

What element of the design excites you the most?

Injecting life into an un-interpreted space, where the stories hidden within the walls are aching to be told, is really exciting. Putting people back into the space and recreating the atmosphere of how the East Baths would have felt in the 4th century – with chattering women, steamy rooms and the smells of massage oils - we think has created an immersive and stimulating display.

What have you or are you most looking forward to working on? 

I really enjoyed the days we spent filming and the work leading up to it. Choosing the actresses, sourcing the props, storyboarding the scenes, and then seeing it all come together on the day was a great achievement. I look forward to seeing the projections being installed in the space, and seeing our initial concept come to life.

Have there been any challenges in working in the space?

Being mindful and respectful of the Roman remains while attempting to install contemporary displays has been a challenge. But that is what makes the Baths so special so we have worked to overcome these challenges as much as possible.

What other similar projects have you worked on/ where can we see your work?

Of course, you can see our work across the rest of the Roman Baths complex – which we initially delivered in 2011.  

For those interested in similar museums to Bath, we have current and future projects. We are currently working with Canterbury Cathedral to create a holistic visitor experience with four exhibition spaces located within the heritage building itself. Chichester’s The Novium opened in 2012. The museum showcases the collections in new ways, acts as a hub to the riches of the District's heritage and encourages visitors to continue their exploration beyond the gallery walls.

Different visitor experiences or museums we are involved in include the Burrell Collection in Glasgow – a remarkable collection housed in a Grade A listed building. The building will be turned into an exemplar of sustainability, transforming it from a building with a large carbon footprint, into an energy efficient, modern museum. The National Army Museum in London just opened yesterday! Event designed and delivered five galleries that explore the various facets of the British Armies from the English Civil War to the present day.

What’s the best thing about working with the Roman Baths?

Working with the incredibly passionate staff who ensure that everything we are doing represents the habits and rituals of Roman bathing in the most accurate ways possible. We want our displays to add colour, vibrancy and life to the ruins which would not be possible without invaluable information, guidance, and advice from the team at the Roman Baths. 

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