The Silverstone Experience
Max Fordham were the exhibition and feature lighting designers for the new Silverstone Experience, a thrilling journey through the past, present and future of British motor sport, home to the British Racing Drivers Club archive and a museum that has been created to inspire the next generation of engineers and racers.
The £20M museum educates visitors with captivating stories behind the famous track, using interactive displays and cutting-edge technology. It forms part of a seven-year National Lottery Heritage Fund project to restore the Second World War RAF hanger covering 6,000 m2 of space at the racetrack, and was officially opened by the Duke of Sussex and six times world F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.
The centre takes visitors on a journey from the medieval history of Silverstone, through its time as a WW2 airfield and past the start of racing in 1948. Visitors can learn about the science behind the sport as well as seeing the historic cars, bikes and brilliant artefacts which include Lewis Hamilton and Nigel Mansell’s Grand Prix racing suits and objects that help tell the tale of the history of motor sport at Silverstone in the most exciting way.
The lighting installation includes an animated version of the original 1948 track which is suspended from the ceiling, a recreated pub from the 1950s and spectacular lighting of the most legendary cars in racing history. While ensuring the exhibition lighting was well balanced, and that long views across the halls were created, we also wanted to let reflections from the animated central feature add interest to the exhibits and give an overall sensation of speed, so the lighting of artefacts and decals incorporating text had to be very focused and directed. The complex and reflective multiple layers in the car paint and finish can make lluminating vehicles in a dark museum atmosphere very challenging, so we specified and set up each fitting individually - perfectly highlighting the range of beautiful and historic racing vehicles on display.