AHOY! is our new gallery for 0-7 years olds at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
When we were commissioned, one of the Museum’s principle aims was to create an experience that would encourage young people to explore the rest of the Museum. Inspired by the Museum’s rich collections, AHOY! is designed to fire children’s imaginations. Be it fishing from the end of the pier, stoking the boiler on a steam ship or captaining a pirate ship, the gallery gives children an opportunity to discover the museum collection through imaginative play.
We aimed to create a gallery that gives children the chance to explore and have fun, whilst also introducing them to the amazing collections held at the museum. We aspired to design a space for children, but without being childish. Avoiding the use of primary colours, we used a muted palette of colours and natural materials inspired by the maritime paintings of the museum collection. Within this environment are activities and exhibits developed especially for young audiences, encouraging children to learn through play and shared discovery. To guide development, our team worked closely with early years experts and the Museum’s evaluation team to ensure that the experience was intuitive, engaging and accessible.
The result is a unique, surprising experience with a real spirit of adventure, offering multiple opportunities for exploration, discovery, learning and play.
AHOY! has received great feedback from staff, parents, the media and family interest groups, including this review from Kids in Museums.