Dressed to Kill – Henry VIII at the Tower of London

Client:  Royal Armouries & Historic Royal Palaces

Exhibition Design by Studio MB

Shortlisted for the Lighting Design Awards Best Public Building 2010

“Dressed to Kill” is a stunning exhibition of arms, armour and artefacts of Henry the Eighth.  The exhibition, through artefacts and displays, explores Henry the sportsman, warrior and icon.  Presented in the style of a fashion show and displayed over three floors of the 11th century White Tower (a world heritage site) the exhibition celebrates the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII becoming King.
On the entrance level Henry’s suits of armour are set against two large AV (Audio Visual) installations integrated within a ten metre long double-sided light wall.  The AV showing the armour is synchronised with the light wall and the case lighting to create an immersive show.

A new gallery lighting system was designed and installed to create dramatic illumination of the artefacts and the building itself.  The lighting concept adopted a high tech approach with sleek metallic lines, in keeping with the design ideology of the weapons and armour, which were the most advanced of their time.  New energy-efficient lighting, using LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology, showcased best practise and significantly reduced power consumption, whilst retaining excellent levels of illumination.

Michael Day, Chief Executive, Historic Royal Palaces:  “It is very rare indeed that the final built exhibition outshines the often over shiny visuals that design companies
produce as part of their tender presentation. In the case of the Henry VIII exhibition our expectations were not only met, but surpassed.”