The Ulster Museum, located in the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, has around 8,000 square metres of public display space, featuring material from the collections of fine art and applied art, archaeology, ethnography, treasures from the Spanish Armada, local history, numismatics, industrial archaeology, botany, zoology and geology. It is the largest museum in Northern Ireland and one of the components of National Museums Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Museum was closed for nearly three years (2006 to October 2009) while it was under refurbishment. The core objectives of the refurbishment were to increase accessibility and public presence, upgrade the Educational, Learning Environments and public comfort facilities and reinterpretation of the Science and History Collections.
The Ulster Museum re-opened to the public in 2009, on its 80th anniversary. The creation of a new hall of wonder and orientation atrium at its heart was included. The renovation work was supported by the National Lottery and the Northern Ireland Executive’s Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
As a result of DQI assessments a number of changes where made to the design as a result of issues, highlighted by ‘local’ experts, at an early stage in the design process. For example specific lunch room requirment – a separate room was requested, where children could hang up there coats and bags, and eat their pack lunch and also act as a teaching space.