vPPR Architects completed the exhibition design and interpretation for the National Trust at Plas Newydd to explain the major renovations that are currently underway at the house.
Like all houses, Plas Newydd has been through several changes over the years. From the flamboyant extravagance of the 5th Marquess, converting a chapel into a theatre, to the more practical changes brought about by the 6th Marquess and the Marchioness in the 1930s, including the introduction of modern plumbing and central heating.
vPPR uses the metaphor of theatre to interweave the story of new renovation works with historical narratives behind this enchanting country house. Each room is conceived as an Act in a play, relating to the different aspects of the new reservicing works.
The multisensory interpretive design communicates through interventions that recall the back-of-house at a theatre: scaffold towers, moveable screens or flats, construction spotlights, tables piled with carefully labelled props.
It is the National Trust’s biggest conservation project in Wales and the largest work to the house since the 1930s. Most of the reservicing work will be hidden behind the walls and floors, the ‘scenery’ of this amazing house. By peeling back the layers, it is possible to reveal the immense amount of work that goes into a project like this.
The project team included with 12 Design (graphic design), Eleanor Scoones (narrative content) and Simon Pyke (sound effects).
Visit Plas Newydd House and Gardens, Behind the Stage for more information.