Canadian Museum of Nature: Donor Wall
The Donor Recognition and History Walls are a sophisticated design of layered graphic wall panels, featuring forest imagery. The panels recognize donors and tell the story of the museum’s 100-year-old history.
- Canadian Museum of Nature
- Donor Recognition & History Wall
- 452 sq. ft.
- Graphic Design, Interpretive Signage Design
- Ottawa, ON, CA
- Year Completed
As part of the Canadian Museum of Nature’s renewal, a striking new glass addition, known as the Queens’ Lantern was built in place where a stone tower once stood. The addition serves as a circulation corridor and a staircase between levels of the museum. The Museum asked R&P to design donor recognition at the base of the Lantern that would also honor the history of the museum. The wall panels needed to be contemporary and sophisticated in design to fit with the design language of the new addition. They also needed to fit with the museum’s core mission and communicate themes of nature and ecology. Finally, they were to be technically sophisticated, incorporating multimedia and allowing for easy dismounting to access the mechanical systems they conceal.
R&P delivered beautifully integrated donor and history walls with a contemporary design language in keeping with the aesthetic of the Lantern addition. The walls used similar grid spacing and materials found in the structure itself, while natural wood was introduced to integrate with the museum’s brand and mission.
The use of wood materials and illustrated forests, featuring silhouette cut-outs of branches, birds and animals were incorporated within the modular donor plaques to simulate tree trunks. These elements were carefully layered in front of a silhouetted tree background and printed on solid wood panels to create a semi-three dimensional design. A consistent, yet simplified version of the design was used for the History Panels that flank the donor wall. Both used innovative forms and alignments to break the orthogonal nature of the typical sign system. All the panels were printed on wood, which could be recycled after use.
Information is laid out horizontally across the wall in smaller, segmented chunks that follow the flow of visitor circulation. This allows visitors to continue towards their destination while viewing the panels. Special typographic consideration was made to ensure sizes were readable and accessible in the narrower space.