Freeman Ryan Design
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Macquarie the Governor: 1810 to 1821

No. 1 Martin Place, Sydney.

Macquarie the Governor

No. 1 Martin Place, Sydney, Australia

Exhibition Design. Heritage Interpretation.

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The creative application of interpretive technologies brought the early years of New South Wales to life

Through an evocative collection of stories and artefacts from the 19th century, this exhibition celebrated life in colonial New South Wales under the leadership of one of its visionary forefathers: Lachlan Macquarie.

Macquarie the Governor incorporated a museum-standard display of artefacts from the State Library collection. Many of the significant artefacts were small, such as coins, documents and pistols. In order to enhance their visual interpretive capacity, FRD employed interventions such as graphic panels, interpretive text and large-scale historical imagery. These induced a level of dynamism within the exhibit, creating a stunning visual backdrop and a sense of temporal context for the visitor. 

The heritage building fabric of No. 1 Martin Place presented an inherent challenge regarding restrictions on the installation of exhibition components. FRD worked closely with a number of contractors in the creation and installation of innovative design elements, circumventing heritage constraints while enabling maximum interpretive capacity for the visitor. The exhibition was developed as a free-standing room within a room, enhanced by uplighters and gobos. These elements created an intimate experience for the visitor while leaving the heritage fabric of the building intact. 

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