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 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.
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 reinterpret the Science and History Collections.
The Ulster Museum re-opened to the public in 2009, on its 80th anniversary. The heart of the new design was the creation of a new “hall of wonder” and orientation atrium. 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. For example local experts suggested including a separate room, where children could hang up their coats and bags, and eat their pack lunches. This room could also act as a teaching space.