London-based architecture practice SPPARC has designed a virtual museum for cultural not-for-profit organisation, the Museum of Diversity. 

Launching this month, the Museum of Diversity aims to celebrate the diversity of cultural heritage originating from Africa through immersive virtual reality exhibitions and talks. The new online experience is the first stage in the Museum of Diversity’s wider plan to realise a bricks and mortar location by 2025, also designed by SPPARC.

SPPARC’s concept for the virtual space draws on themes of sustainability, nature, community and connectedness. The museum interiors feature honeycomb forms, a tessellating shape chosen for its structural strength in numbers. 

A central rising amphitheatre marks the heart of the museums’ main entrance hall where virtual visitors can meet or move throughout the space to eight standing coloured gallery portals, leading to exhibitions and talks on learning, culture, music, sports, arts, humanities, migration, and innovators. 

SPPARC’s brief was to design a zero-carbon museum and transportable roving exhibition ‘pods’. The pods will be manufactured in early 2022 to be distributed to schools and throughout urban public spaces to promote the Museum’s programme. 

The digital exhibition hall and pop up exhibition pods have been designed as early iterations of the future physical museum. SPPARC is working closely with the Museum of Diversity to source and inspect possible locations in London, and will continue to advise and design more virtual galleries for the expanding programme of events. 

The Museum of Diversity launches as part of Black History Month, with two free exhibitions including the Croydon Murals: Mayor of London Bridging History and the Museum of Diversity Digital Concept. 

Trevor Morriss, Principal at SPPARC, said:

“To be a part of such an innovative, inclusive and community-focused project is a wonderful thing. As a studio, SPPARC always looks at the local history and culture of our projects’ sites, but our approach to the Museum of Diversity was more about drawing on the rich and varied histories of African communities and creating a space for them to be celebrated centre-stage.”

Troy Richards, Chairman and CEO Museum of Diversity said: 

“Our key partner SPPARC has prepared the design for the Museum of Diversity building, without them, we could not have visualised this concept. The concept and resulting virtual space is a reflection of the studio’s long-held interest in culture and people, and shows their commitment to making accessible cities and places for all. We look forward to continuing to work with them on the development of our future spaces.”