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Brooklands Aircraft Factory, UK

Brooklands Aircraft Factory is part of the wider £8m Heritage Lottery-funded Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Race Track Revival Project.

The new exhibition is located within the Bellman Hanger, which has been moved off the Race Track’s Finishing Straight and reinterpreted as the ‘Brooklands Aircraft Factory’, evoking 80 years of aviation design and manufacture and providing an inspiring centre for learning about science and engineering.

Working with internationally renowned exhibition designers Ralph Applebaum Associates (RAA), the lighting scheme was centred on creating a factory atmosphere.

Bringing theatrical lighting techniques to the project helped enhance the exhibits on show, as well as the architectural configuration of the Bellman Hangar.

We used cool white light to characterise the architecture and emphasise the colder working conditions experienced by those working on the aircrafts. Contrasted to this, a warmer white light was used to reveal the many stories and artefacts on display.

A bespoke ‘industrial’ system allowed for the lighting to be connected to the display framework, which ensured that all exhibits could be lit locally, in keeping with working conditions experienced by workers. This approach also prevented the need to attach any lighting equipment to the historic ceiling.

By focusing our work on the experiences of others, we helped to deliver a clear and defined lighting scheme. John Blanchard, project director for RAA commented, “Michael Grubb Studio’s excellent lighting design for Brooklands Museum strikes a fine balance between the demands of an industrial factory setting and the wide variety of large and small artefacts contained within.”

“From the impressive Wellington Bomber to personal objects carried by pilots on their journeys, each artefact is given its own ‘visual space’ through Michael Grubb Studio’s thoughtful design, to support and enhance the story and experience for Brooklands’ visitors.”


Brooklands Museum

Scope of Works

Concept, Scheme & Detailed Design & Production, Fabrication & Installation

Design Team

Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) & Michael Grubb Studio


Andrew Lee


Surrey, UK