• Story Museum, Oxford
  • Building interior (image credit: Story Museum)

...a place where windows open into other worlds

Story Museum, Oxford


Project summary


The Story Museum will be a Cathedral for stories: a place that inspires learning and enjoyment, where people of all ages can experience and explore stories with all their senses, discover stories from many cultures and create stories in a variety of forms. The museum will also create, conserve, develop and interpret collections and heritage assets, providing valuable facilities for study, learning, creation and participation.


The museum will be the first of its kind in the world, and will be a beacon for inspiring learning through story;drawing together artistic creativity, educational insights and historic treasures in unique ways that ignite, or re-ignite, a love of stories.


Charcoalblue is providing acoustics advice to the project, working closely with Purcell Miller Tritton Architects and the team on developing each of the different areas for reading, telling or experiencing stories. This includes considering the specific requirements of acoustics for children, shaping the soundscapes from a palette of distances, shapes, loudnesses, materials, and noises.


Approaches to this include finding specific materials to reduce or intentionally exaggerate noise or transitions between spaces;making reverberant spaces sound larger than they really are; using background noise as a means of suggesting places or moods (wind, machinery, transport); creating stunningly silent places to inspire hushed voices and contemplative atmospheres; or developing 'fun house' effects such as whispering galleries, speaking tubes or hyperbolic dishes to add mystery and wonder to simple spaces.