As Manchester City and Chelsea both make prompt returns to Wembley for this weekend’s FA Cup semi final, leading visitor attraction design consultancy, Mather & Co has also been back to the famous stadium to design and install a new visitor gallery.
The 200m² gallery, which forms the holding area for the Wembley Stadium Tour and VIP visitors as well as a venue for private functions, is part of the ‘FA 150’ project to celebrate 150 years of the Football Association.
Mather & Co has designed a gallery that captures some of the key footballing moments and iconic images throughout the FA’s history using a selection of artefacts, memorabilia, photos and film.
From the moment visitors enter the gallery underneath the famous ‘Geoff Hurst’ crossbar from the 1966 World Cup final, they are confronted with the full and rich history of the FA and Wembley Stadium, old and new. A feature unit includes several five star exhibits including the Jules Rimet world cup trophy, the original FA Cup, the retired FA Cup, the original FA Community Shield and the original, and very valuable, FA rule book.
Bringing the exhibits right up to date, young England footballer, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain narrates a feature film highlighting key footballing moments, which plays out across a multi-screen display wall.
Throughout 2013, the FA 150 project will seek to bring the FA’s history to life and celebrate with a number of key attractions and events, including Wembley’s hosting of the UEFA Champions League Final in May. Having secured this design contract, it was important that Mather & Co turned its design proposals into a completed gallery within a tight four week schedule, so it could be ready in time for some of these key events, including the FA Cup semi-finals.
Adam Burrage, Wembley Stadium’s tour manager said: “Working alongside Mather & Co to deliver the FA 150 exhibition was a very positive collaborative process. The team met, and in many cases exceeded, all our design briefs and delivered the project well ahead of schedule. The exhibition has been greatly received both by tour visitors, FA Group staff and event day supporters who have enjoyed the diverse range of displays from interactive timelines to showcased presentations of some of the FA’s most cherished assets in our 150th year.”
This latest gallery project not only underlines Mather & Co’s excellent pedigree designing visitor attractions and exhibitions throughout the sports sector, but also maintains its close relationship with Wembley Stadium. Two years ago it designed and built an open display to present commemorative tablets from the original stadium’s 1948 London Olympic Games.