Ralph Applebaum Associates

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Crown Jewels, Tower of London

London, England

Housed at the Jewel House at the Tower of London, the Crown Jewels are some of the world’s most precious items on public exhibition display. The Tower of London is a World Heritage Site and Scheduled Monument, and the Crown Jewels have been on display there since the 1660s, remaining a unique working collection of royal regalia.

RAA collaborated closely with the independent charity Historic Royal Palaces to reinterpret the Crown Jewels. Conceived as a theatrical experience, the re-presented Jewel House is driven by a powerful narrative – the history and symbolism of these unique royal treasures, priceless for their symbolic value as well as the magnificence of their precious materials.

The project aimed to better reveal the meaning and relevance of this collection to 21st century audiences. By creating a theatrical narrative experience there was a great opportunity to pace the emotion and mood, and build excitement throughout the Jewel House. Developed according to a narrative score, the experience has been realized as a carefully orchestrated scenographic composition of audiovisual, lighting, sound, artifacts and graphics, designed to absorb diverse audiences through the atmosphere and symbolism of the royal treasures. Due to the large audience numbers, approximately 80% of whom are international visitors, content has been distilled down to key messages which are delivered through highly visual means, with minimal use of text.

The exhibition was created as a spectacular new experience in time for 2012, the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic Games. Our work added a new dimension to London’s top charging visitor attraction, which welcomes over 2.4 million visitors per year.

Size 10,549 square feet

Year 2012

Project Details

Fabrication & InstallationThe Hub

Audio-Visual IntegrationAtlas

Non-interactive mediaSquint Opera

Lighting DesignDHA

Structural EngineeringThe Morton Partnership