Game on as Hadley delivers fit-out of Power Up gaming gallery at the Science Museum

Image: Gallery view of Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience © Science Museum Group

Hadley explains how creativity and collaboration led to the creation of an interactive gaming extravaganza.

Last year saw Hadley deliver the specialist fit-out of a major new gallery at the Science Museum in London. Power Up is an interactive gaming experience, offering visitors of all ages the chance to get hands-on with some of the very best video games and consoles from the past five decades of gaming history.

Based in the West Hall of the Science Museum, this self-contained gallery is a true gamer’s paradise, packed with over 160 consoles and hundreds of games. From Pong to Pac-Man, Mario to Minecraft, Fortnite to FIFA – Power Up has something for everyone, whether you’re a retro games fan, a serious gamer or just want to beat your family at Mario Kart. Between gameplay, visitors can learn all about the history and science behind video games technology, see how the UK’s games industry conjures the magic, and get inspired to become a games maker of the future.

Visitors battling it out in an action-packed 16-person Halo tournament in Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience. © Science Museum Group

As Principal Contractor, Hadley delivered the complete fit-out of the Power Up gallery to designs by Sam Jacob Studios, in coordination with project consultants Mace Group and Gardiner & Theobald. Working to a challenging 10-week programme, Hadley mobilised their experienced team to supercharge the manufacture and fabrication of gallery setworks at their factory in Halifax. This included bespoke gaming lounge furniture, single and multi-player game stations, VR and timeline walls, mesh ticketing barriers and suspended signage. Hadley operatives completed the gallery installation on site, including the extensive power, data and lighting infrastructure needed to support hours of gaming fun.

The project called for close collaboration between fit-out contractor and exhibition designer to realise key elements of the design vision. Hadley project managers and design technicians took part in workshops with the project design team to analyse the RIBA Stage 3 design brief and identify creative solutions that could achieve maximum quality, durability and value in the gallery scheme. Decision-making on specification and manufacture methods was made easy through detailed CAD modelling and 3D prototypes supplied by Hadley during the contractor design period.

Helen Martin, Masterplan Project Director at the Science Museum Group, said: “Hadley’s teams, both project management and planning groups, and the on-site crew, were brilliant to work with. They were an integral partner in delivering the gallery to programme and on budget, managing client requests and working closely with Sam Jacobs and the design team.”

Visitors enjoying a Virtual Reality game in Power Up, the Science Museum’s hands-on gaming experience © Science Museum Group

Jamie Lavin, Managing Director of Hadley, explains how the group’s focussed and collaborative approach to exhibitions aligns with Hadley’s way of working. “Getting to know an organisation like the Science Museum over time really helps us understand where we can fit in and make a positive different to project teams at the delivery stage. Communication is crucial, but so is having that can-do outlook for overcoming challenges and achieving the very best visitor experience possible, which is something we share with all the Science Museum teams we’ve worked with.”

The Power Up gallery adds to Hadley’s impressive track record of exhibition fit-out projects delivered for museums in the Science Museum Group, including at the Science Museum in London, Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, Science and Media Museum in Bradford, National Railway Museum in York, and Locomotion in Shildon.