16 January 2017
Grand unveiling of Science Museum’s Mathematics Gallery
Paragon has completed the refurbishment and fit out of the Science Museum’s pioneering new space, Mathematics: The Winton Gallery, which explores how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the world over the last 400 years.
Paragon worked closely with the museum’s curators, conservationists and specialist supply chain from across Europe throughout the nine month construction period to bring Zaha Hadid Architects’ design concept to life. More than 100 treasures from the Science Museum’s world-class science, technology, engineering and mathematics collections have been brought together to tell a story of human ingenuity, with objects ranging from handheld mathematic instruments to a 1929 experimental biplane.
Positioned at the centre of the gallery, the Handley Page ‘Gugnunc’ aircraft was built in 1929 for a competition to construct a safe aircraft. Ground-breaking aerodynamic research influenced the wing design of this experimental aircraft, helping to transform public opinion about the safety of flying and to secure the future of the aviation industry. The aeroplane highlights the central theme of the gallery about how mathematical practice is driven by, and influences, real–world concerns and activities. The gallery is therefore laid out using mathematics and physics principles, which inform the three-dimensional curved surfaces representing the patterns of airflow that would have streamed around the aircraft.
Simon Hands, Project Director at Paragon, said: “Working alongside an expert team from across the industry, we worked to a tight construction schedule while the museum remained open, and have successfully played a key role in bringing this new space to life for the public’s enjoyment. It marks one of two projects we have completed for the Science Museum this year, the first one being the Wonderlab, which is Europe’s largest interactive gallery.”