Poetic Views: Museum at Wordsworth Grasmere

The Museum at Wordsworth Grasmere, the second phase of work at the former Lake District home of the great English Romantic poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, has opened to the public, with all gallery, exhibition design and interpretative overviews by Nissen Richards Studio.

The first phase of work by Nissen Richards Studio encompassed the conservation and reinterpretation of Dove Cottage itself, where William and Dorothy once lived, plus the new identity for Wordsworth Grasmere and the scheme’s signage and wayfinding.

The new visitor journey, designed by Nissen Richards Studio in close collaboration with the Wordsworth Grasmere team, includes a series of threshold moments, such as a totem sign and the setting of words into the walkways, featuring fragments of poems going off in two directions, so that visitors see them clearly on arrival and departure.

The Museum includes a shop and ticketing area, before visitors enter a new, double-height orientation space, where quotations by Wordsworth are set within a dramatic, full-height light wall. Visitors then make their way to a former stable space that houses an immersive introductory film, before stepping over the threshold into Dove Cottage. Visitors return to The Museum via Dove Cottage’s Garden-Orchard, entering an expanded first floor space, loosely arranged into four new galleries. Galleries One and Four are set to one side and Galleries Two and Three to the other, whilst a pause space in between offers views onto the gardens and surrounding landscape.

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