Science Museum Entrance Desks

Raising visitor donations by reworking the entrance area of the Science Museum

Effective welcome 

Working with our sister company Universal Design Studio we analysed and re-designed the entrance area of the London Science Museum to create the best welcome and increase voluntary donations. Our strategy involved re-planning the area and designing two new desks. The Fundraiser Desk creates an arrival point where staff can process donations and guide book sales. The Information Desk enables staff to provide detailed information required by visitors.

Visitor donations increased by 80% and contributed to a 67% increase in guidebook sales

Analysing visitor flow

Whilst studying visitor flow at both busy and quiet times, we noticed that the existing layout meant visitors passed through the area rapidly without stopping at one of the existing donation points. Staff did not have time to engage with visitors and the entrance area felt unwelcoming with the information desk tucked away and not in line of sight as visitors arrived.

A beautiful barrier

With the Visitor Fundraiser Desk we created a ‘beautiful barrier’. It acts both as a welcome desk but also funnels visitors through two narrow entrances staffed by fundraisers. Staff can now welcome each visitor and ask for a donation even at busy times. Simple, secure collection boxes with glass viewing panels encourage donations and all sales fixtures are neatly integrated into the top surface for donations and guide book sales.

Circular information desk

The circular Information Desk allows visitors to approach it from the museum entrance and also once inside the museum. Making it circular enables it to be placed in the centre of the space improving visitor flow and strengthening its relationship with the other desk.

Manufacturing and installation

Both desks are clad in mirror-polished stainless steel; subtly reflecting its surroundings and providing a sense of craftsmanship and gravitas appropriate to the entrance of a national museum. We sourced UK production of the desks using a cutting edge CNC process with hand panel beating and polishing. The sizes were meticulously planned to ensure they could be installed through the listed entrances of the museum.